THE LOED WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
OF ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND
This Edition is limited to 500 copies
THE LORD WARDENS
OF THE MARCHES OF
ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE MARCHES,
THE LAWS OF MARCH, AND THE MARCHMEN
TOGETHER WITH SOME ACCOUNT OF
THE ANCIENT FEUD BETWEEN
ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND.
HOWARD PEASE, M.A., F.S.A.
AUTHOR OF 'BORDERLAND STUDIES'
'TALES OF NORTHUMBRIA'
CONSTABLE AND COMPANY LTD.
10 ORANGE STREET LEICESTER SQUARE W.C.
'For alsmekil as this Nobill He, callit Gret Britanee, can
nocht be kepit and maintenit bettir in Welth and Prosperite
than such Thingis to be practizit and concludit betweyn
the Kingis of boith the Reahnes of Scotland and Ingland,
quharby that and thare subjectis micht be assoverit to lefe in
Peax, Luf and Tendines to grow and incres ymangis thame,
it hath be Aggreit, Accordit and Concludit that, considerit
the long continewyt Trublis, Discentions and Debattis
betwen the boith Eealmes, with gret and mortell Werre
that haith followit thar uppon, for the appeasing and setting
apart of the samyn, a newar and a most especiale Weye is
to be fundin and had than only the trust of the Trew and
Abstinence of Werre that is nowe or ony uthir Trew that
couth be divisit betuix boith the Parties.'
Confirmatio Alligantiarum et Treugarum per Regem
Scotonun. 26. X. 1474. (Rymer, Foedera.)
MASTER AND FELLOWS OF BALLIOL COLLEGE, OXFORD
' THE MOST KINDLY NURSE ' OF MANY BORDERERS
SCOTTISH AS WELL AS ENGLISH
Posuit fines tuos pacem. Ps. xlviii
No Warden keeps the Marches,
From Tynedale to the Tweed,
Broad winds the road to Scotland
Beside the streams of Rede.
Here, where some flaming roof-tree
Leaped red-tongued to the sky,
About the grass-grown ruins,
The nesting stock-doves fly.
Here, where spear-driven cattle
Splashed deep to taste the cool,
Only the quick-winged dipper
Startles the quiet pool.
Unwatched, your flocks, shepherd,
Feed safe o'er many a field,
With red-brown bracken rusted
Hangs Cheviot's dinted shield.
Plough, husbandman, long furrows,
Fling, sower, undismayed,
In groves of birch and alder
Tweed sheathes his steel-bright blade.
Reprinted by kind permission of Mr. Elkin Mathews.
IT may be claimed for this Book that it was written
on the only true principle, viz. to please the author,
and furthermore, to enable him to resolve certain
doubts. He well remembers how difficult, for example
to cite only three instances he found it in the past
to discover precisely what a ' Land Serjeant ' was, and
what the true meaning of ' Double and Sawfey ' might
be, or exactly what ' to baugle ' meant.
' Sawfey ' has hitherto been defined as ' blackmail ' *
levied by Border raiders, or ' protection money,' but
in reality the word means a, fine or punishment, and
is part of the code of the Border Laws. Sir Robert
Bowes (who had been long time a Warden and ' one
of the most expert Borderers within memory,' so Sir
William Bowes Treasurer of Berwick styles him in
writing to Burleigh in 1598), discusses the term fully
1 By an enactment of the 43rd Eliz., it was ordered without, however,
impeaching the jurisdiction of the Lord Wardens that the paying 'a
certain rate of money, corn, cattle, or other consideration, commonly there
called by the name of blackmail, unto divers and sundry inhabitants upon
or near the Border was felony without benefit of cltrgy.'
Blackmail is said to signify payment in cattle ; whitemail in silver
viii THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
in his report 1 on the Borders in 1551, and though he
has infinite difficulty in spelling it (flass, sale, falsse
being varieties), he sets forth the meaning clearly
The duties again of a ' Land Serjeant ' become
clear when you read Thomas Carleton's Letters 2 to
Lord Burleigh in 1597, and the true signification of
'baugle' or 'bauchle' in a memorandum on the
' manner of holding days of Truce ' in Sir R. Bowes's
The Border Papers, so ably edited by the late Mr.
Joseph Bain, are a true search-light for students of
Border History, for you get there the personal
equation of the Lord Wardens and the inhabitants
of the Marches.
Therein you may gather incidentally the difficulties
of March administration when you read Sir John
Forster's letter to Walsingham, where, after mention-
ing the death of Sir Thomas Ker in 1586 who had
been his opposite Warden he concludes with an
expression of sorrow * that he had not beine hanged.'
You can also read of the many accusations brought
against Forster himself, and of his final dismissal
from his Wardenship.
There are of course innumerable books stout
1 See Reprints, vol. iv. (Richardson, Newcastle).
2 See Calendar of Border Papers, vol. ii p. 447.
quartos as well as ephemeral crown octavos about
the Border, but there is none, so far as the present
writer knows, that sets forth the romantic story of
'the Laws of the Marches,' the lawgivers, and the
lawless on its social or administrative side, which is
the task the writer has essayed. Bishop Nicholson's
Leges Marchiarum is the foundation-stone of the
building which has been built up thereafter out of the
Border Minstrelsy of Sir Walter Scott, Burn and
Nicholson's History of Westmorland and Cumberland,
Ridpath's History, Armstrong's History of Liddesdale
and the Debateable Land, Andrew Lang's History of
Scotland, Rymer's Foedera, and, most important of
all, the Border Papers above mentioned.
Dr. Hodgkin's excellent Creightonian Lecture on
the 'Wardens of the Northern Marches' (Murray,
1908) had a list of the various Wardens which the
present writer in ' conveying ' has somewhat amplified.
He has further with Dr. Hodgkin's kind permission
made use of a like title for this book.
He must also express his gratitude to Dr. Neilson
of Glasgow for discovering to him the meaning of
that strange term the Manus de Wardshiell, men-
tioned in the first of the Leges Marchiarum, that
had long been an enigma.
Finally, his warm thanks are due to Mr. C. B. L.
Fletcher of Oxford for reading through the MS.,
x THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
and for much valued criticism and advice, and to
the Rev. H. A. Wilson of Magdalen College for
sundry suggestions and interesting notes, and to
Mr. A. L. Smith of Balliol College for various
assistance and encouragement.
As you read in the Border Laws you will note
the gradual growth of civilisation in the kings at
least, if not the people 1 as shown by the various
sections of the later indentures, dealing with swifter
methods of bringing notorious thieves and murderers
to justice, also with making the meetings of the Lord
Wardens more frequent and efficacious, till finally in
1596 seven years before the 'Marches of England
against Scotland ' and of ' Scotland against England '
became King James's ' Middle Shires ' you will find
1 Indeed the last state of the Borders was worse than the first, for even so
late as 1587, when there was peace between the two kingdoms, the lawless-
ness of the Borderland can be shown at a glance by giving the ' breviate of
the attempts of England committed upon the West Marches by the West
Borders of Liddesdale and fouled (viz., found true), by the Commissioners
of Berwick for lack of appearance, with the breviate of the Liddesdale Bills,
ouled of the inhabitants of the West Marches by the Commissioners at
Berwick : with the names of such persons noted in the Marches, as my
Lord Scroope had ready to deliver, together with the breviate of the bills
of England, fouled at Berwick upon the West Marches of Scotland, by the
Commissioners, according to the indenture.' Add to the above the counter
abstract of the West Marches of Scotland fouled against the West Marches
of England by the said Commissioners.
The sum-total of all these various bills for slaughter, wounding, theft,
and burnings amounted to J9700 for English claims, and to .41,600 for
the Scottish, leaving thus a surplus of English wrongdoing to the tune of
even the spiritual needs of the inhabitants taken
Thus, Item 1 of the last of the Border Laws runs
as follows : ' That the Princes be most humbly and
earnestly intreated to cause God's ministers of the
Word to be planted in every Border Church, to
inform the Lawless People of their Duty, and to
watch over their manners, and that the Principal
Inhabitants of each Parish shall put in surety to
their Prince for Due Reverence to be used towards
their Pastors in their Offices, and the safety of
their Persons ; and that to this effect, order may
be timely taken for reparation of the Decayed
Churches within the Bounds/
We may conclude our Preface with a quaint
illustration of the usual fate of the Borderer in the
old days, who rarely died ' like a cow ' in his bed.
As we commented once upon the excess of the
names of women over those of men on the headstones
in the Churchyard at Bewcastle, the Sexton responded
drily, ' What happened the men ? Wey, the men
were a' hangit at weary Carlisle ! '
Part I. A RETROSPECT . . . . 6
Part II. THE ORIGIN OF THE FEUD . . .17
THE ASPECT OF THE MARCHES AND CHARACTER OF THE
MARCHMEN, WITH AN ACCOUNT OF 'DEADLY FEUD' . 19
Part I. THE RAID AND THE FORAY . . .19
Part II. ' DEADLY FEUD ' . . . . .33
Part I. ' THE MARCHES OF ENGLAND FOR ANEMPST SCOT-
LAND,' WITH SOME ACCOUNT OF THEIR ADMINISTRATION 37
Part II. THE DEBATABLE LAND ITS EXTENT, CUSTOM,
AND FINAL DIVISION . . . . .55
Part I. ' THE TREATIES, TRUCES, LAWS AND CUSTOMS OF
THE BORDERS ' . . .. . . .66
POSTSCRIPT : TRIAL BY COMBAT . . .78
Part II. A SHORT SUMMARY OF THE BORDER LAWS 82
xiv THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
Part I. THE COURTS AND JURISDICTION OF THE LORD
WARDENS ...... 104
Part II. THE DIFFICULTIES AND DRAWBACKS OF THE
WARDENS' PROCEDURE . . . . .116
Part III. QUESTIONS OF ETIQUETTE AND PRECEDENCE AT
THE MEETINGS OF THE WARDENS OF THE MARCHES . 123
Part IV. 'QUIS CUSTODIET IPSOS CUSTODES?' . . 130
THE WARDEN'S OWN COURT, OB CASES OF ' MARCH
TREASON' . . . . . . 138
Part I. THE ORDER OF THE DAY AND NIGHT WATCHES
' ENDLONG THE BORDER' FROM CARLISLE UNTO BERWICK 152
Part II. THE ROUTES OF THE RANK-RIDERS, OR PATHS
OF THE RAIDERS . . . . .161
BALES AND BEACON FIRES . . . . .165
THE VARIOUS ' NAMES,' ' GRAYNES ' AND CLANS INHABITING
THE MARCHES OF EITHER REALM . . .171
THE PAYMENT OF THE WARDENS, KEEPERS AND VARIOUS
OFFICERS OF THE BORDER . . .176
THE ORIGINAL OFFICE OF THE LORD WARDENS 186
Part I. THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES . .190
Part II. THE LORD WARDENS GENERAL, LIEUTENANTS AND
SCOTS JUSTICIARS . . . . .214
THE ' PEACEFUL PERSUASION ' AND TRANSPLANTING OF THE
MARCHMEN BY JAMES VI. AND I. . . .225
EPILOGUE ....... 230
I. 'THE AULD ENEMY' . . . . .231
II. OF VARIOUS ENDEAVOURS TO 'STANCH THE FEUD' . 234
III. THE BISHOPRIC OF DURHAM, OR THE PALATINATE, AND
THE DUTY OF BORDER DEFENCE . . . 238
IV. ARMOUR AND WEAPONS OF THE MARCHMEN . . 239
V. 'DOUBLE AND SAWFEY ' AND 'BAUGHLING' . . 240
AN ENGRAVING OF CHEVIOT '
(' WHERE THE MARCHES MEET ')
. . Frontispiece
The Hon. Walter James, K.E. .
I. MAP OF NORTHUMBERLAND AND THE EASTERN
MARCH . . . . . at pp. 42-43
II. MAP OF THE DEBATABLE LAND . . . 54-55
III. MAP OF CUMBERLAND AND THE WESTERN
MARCH. ...... 160-161
IV. MAP OF ANNANDALE , 174-175
' I care not who makes the laws of a nation so long as I may frame their
FLETCHER OF SALTOUN.
THE charm of the Borderland and its ancient romance
is not unlike to the spell which Homer wove about
the feud of Greek and Trojan. The Border history is
more barbarous indeed, yet it is often instinct with
the same chivalrous motives and occupied with the
like human interests, and further, it has supplied a
like magnificent inspiration. In the one case you
have as singer and maker one of the greatest of all
poets Homer : in the other ' out and out the king of
the romantics ' to quote Stevenson's words ' Sir
In either case you have the elemental passions
of love and hate, fidelity to chief and cause, the
fearlessness of man, the courage and constancy of
woman ; you can match the ruses of Odysseus with
2 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
those of Sir James Douglas, the beauty of Helen with
the fascination of Mary Queen of Scots, for whom
so many Borderers on either side fought in vain, in
whose cause the Earl of Northumberland lost his life
and the Earl of Westmoreland his estates.
When the Laird of Buccleugh had so gallantly
rescued * Kinmont Will ' from Carlisle Castle and
was confronted with the wrath of Queen Elizabeth,
he won the great Queen's admiration by his dauntless
words, ' What is there that a brave man will not
attempt ? '
And we may add the testimony of Sir Philip Sidney
to the hold the Border story retains upon the human
heart, for, ' confessing his barbarousness,' he admitted
that Chevy Chase moved him more than the sound
As the duel and the battle were waged for years
about the walls of Troy between the Achaians and
the Trojans, so for centuries the long contest raged
upon the Borderland between the English and the
Scots, ' and the earth streamed with blood/
' Ot S' ore 8tj p' es \wpov eva ^uiuovres I'KOVTO,
2w p' e(3a\ov ptvoiis, <rvv 8' eyx ea * a ' fteve' avSpwv
XaA.Ko0u)/cjKC)V drap curTrtSes o//,</>aAoe(r(rGU
"ETTA^VT' a.XX.rjXyai, TroAvs 8' opvfj.a.ySo's opatpti.
'Ev0a8' a/x' oifKayr) re KCU evx^Ai) ireXcv avfy>wv,
re, KCU oAAv/zevouv, pee 8' ai'/zari ycua.'
Iliad, iv. 446451.
The Borderland, indeed, possesses a twofold magic :
the one is the dowry of nature, the other that of a
great artist, for the ' great Wizard ' has peopled a
romantic country for us with undying figures, even
as Homer filled the plains of the Simois and Scamander
to our delight with living heroes. The natural magic
endures through the ages, for one of late l who has
been called the ' swiftest and brightest spirit of our
day ' felt it to the full.
Thus, Miss Sichel writes of her friend's love for
Northumberland. ' She liked nature to be a power
outside her, infusing into her the joy, the peace, that
she did not always possess. She never felt that power
more than in Northumberland. Northumberland
haunted her : she loved its stern moods, its summer
richness, its Border sights, its strong romance.'
Yet to some the Border scenery is too stern, too
uninhabited, and too aloof from mankind to please.
To the Frenchman and the city lover it is triste, as a
friend of the writer's once characterised it.
Washington Irving, as we know from his own
account, was disappointed with what he saw upon
the Scottish Border. ' Our ramble,' he wrote in his
Miscellanies, ' took us on the hills commanding an
extensive prospect. " Now," said Scott, " I have
brought you, like the pilgrim in the Pilgrim's
1 Miss Mary Coleridge.
4 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
Progress, to the top of the Delectable Mountains,
that I may show you all the goodly regions hereabouts.
Yonder is Lammermuir, and Smailholme ; and there
you have Galashiels, and Gala Water : and in that
direction you see Teviotdale and the Braes of Yarrow,
and Ettrick Stream winding along like a silver thread
to throw itself into the Tweed/' He went on thus
to call over names celebrated in Scottish Song, and
most of which had recently received a romantic
interest from his own pen. In fact, I saw a great
part of the Border country spread out before me,
and could trace the scenes of those poems and
romances which had in a manner bewitched the
' I gazed about me for a time with mute surprise, I
may almost say, with disappointment. I beheld a
mere succession of grey, waving hills, line beyond line,
as far as my eye could .reach, monotonous in their
aspect, and so destitute of trees, that one could almost
see a stout fly walking along their profile : and the
far-famed Tweed appeared a naked stream, flowing
between bare hills, without a tree or a thicket on
its banks : and yet, such had been the magic web of
poetry and romance thrown over the whole, that it
had a greater charm for me than the richest scenery
I had beheld in England. I could not help giving
utterance to my thoughts. . Scott hummed for a
moment to himself, and looked grave : he had no idea
of having his muse complimented at the expense of
his native hills.
'"It may be pertinacity," said he at length, " but to
my eye these grey hills and all this ivild border country
have beauties peculiar to themselves. I like the very
nakedness of the land ; it has something bold, and stern,
and solitary about it. When I have been for some
time in the rich scenery about Edinburgh, which is like
ornamented garden land, I begin to wish myself back
again among my own honest grey hills : and if I did
not see the heather at least once a year, I think I should
6 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
' Quhen Alysandyr, our kyng, was dede.
That Scotland led in luive and Le.
Away wes sons of Ale and Brede,
Of wyne and wax, of gamyn and gle,
Oure gold was changd into lede.
Cryst, born into virgynyte,
Succour Scotland and remede
That stad is in perplexyte.'
BUT let us now turn back our eyes to the far past in
order to trace the gradual evolution of the kingdoms
of England and Scotland, and the settling of the
Border boundary betwixt the two countries, until in
the reign of Edward i. we meet with the first Lord
Warden of the Marches.
The Eoman Wall the ' Picts' Wall/ as the old
geographers termed it in itself one of the earliest
signs of the decay of Rome's strength had drawn
a rampart across Britain which should be a fence
against the Pict and Scot.
The still earlier and more northerly bridle of forts
A RETROSPECT 7
that praetentura by which Agricola had held in
subjection the unruly Picts between the Forth and
Clyde had not been linked together by a wall, and
Hadrian chose the line between the Tyne and Solway
for his great rampire whether that be the vallum
or the wall ; and thus upon the Northumbrian and
Cumbrian moorlands he built the ' Altars of the
limits of the Roman Empire.'
The Emperor Severus again, accepting Hadrian's
line of fortification, ' built a wall of stone across the
Island ' extending from sea to sea from Wall send
that stands by the tidal waters of the North Sea
to Port Carlisle on Solway Strand, thus leaving
the greater part of what is now Cumberland and
Northumberland in the possession of the Pict and Scot.
Then when the Romans in 410 withdrew their last
remaining legions from the Island, the raids of the
Picts and Scots upon the Romanised Britons would
recommence with delight and be continued with zeal
till such time as the Angles, Jutes, and Saxons
possessed themselves of the land, and Edwin the
Anglian built his * burn,' as the early chroniclers
aver, beside the Firth of Forth.
Fighting was the chief occupation of the time, and
the Northumbrian Ethelfrith, ex tending his sovereignty
over the kingdom of Deira, ruled from Humber to
Forth ; made his victorious way as far as Chester,
8 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
which he sacked, and was acknowledged as suzerain by
the Scots in Dalriada and the Britons in Strathclyde,
so that the boundary between England and Scotland
at this time ran from the Forth to the Clyde.
But the fortunes of warfare ebbed and flowed,
and when Egfrith was slain in 685 at the Battle
of Nectansmere these same Scots and Britons re-
nounced the overlordship of Northumbria. The sun
of Northumberland's greatness was setting. The
Danes established themselves in Deira, and Guthred
gave to the successor of St. Cuthbert what came
to be known as 'the Bishopric/ namely, all the
land lying between the Wear and Tyne. Though
Athelstane by his great victory at Brunanbuhr in
934 drove back Constantine, King of the Scots, and
the mixed forces of insurgent Danes, Picts, Welsh
and Cumbrians, by 963 Edinburgh was lost to England,
and though Edmund twenty years previously had
conquered Cumbria (viz. Cumberland and Lancashire),
he had handed it over to the King of Scots upon
what would soon come to be called ' feudal tenure/
but at the time ' was in reality a bribe to keep the
'The good old rule, the simple plan/ is still
efficacious enough in our own twentieth century, as
Austria- Hungary and Italy have shown in their
respective treatment of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
A RETROSPECT 9
and Tripoli. ' Honest' Austria and Italy alike, after
the fashion of the ' wight-riding Robson ' of the Play,
have done a ' little shifting for their living/ On this
analogy we may easily believe that had it not been
for the superior power of the Normans no recognition
of overlordship nor mention of homage would have
been made for Cumberland or Northumberland by
the King of Scotland : with a weaker England,
these counties would inevitably have become part
Thus Lothian, which had been for so long a time
English ground, had gradually lapsed to, or been
taken by the Scots, Malcolm n. seemingly having
wrested it from the feeble hands of Eadwulf Cutel
in Canute's reign after the Scots' victory at Carham-
on-Tweed in 1018.
Hence at the time of the Norman Conquest Malcolm
Canmore held Cumberland, and a large part of West-
moreland, and a portion of what had been till recently
Northumbria ; so that it was not till nearly a century
later that the boundary line between Scotland and
England came to run from Berwick and the Tweed
by Cheviot unto Carlisle.
There are on Stanemore, nigh to the old road from
York to Brough and Carlisle, the remains of a cross
styled the Rey, Roy (royal), or Rere Cross which
Hector Boethius, the Scottish writer, 'recordeth to
10 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
have been erected as a mear stone or boundary
between England and Scotland, what time William
the Conqueror granted Cumberland unto the Scots,
on this condition, that they should hold of him as
his tenants, and not attempt anything prejudicial
or hurtful to the crown of England.'
This is the picturesque tradition, derived from a
name, as is commonly the case ; the actual fact is
that William the Conqueror crossed the Forth with
an army and received homage of some kind from
Malcolm Canmore at Abernethy.
Possibly it may have been no more than the ' simple
homage ' -per paragium which carried with it no
obligation of fidelity. Such was the homage rendered
by the Normans to the King of France as opposed to
the homagium ligeum whereby an individual became
' the man ' or vassal of another.
As Hallam in his View, of the Middle Ages l points
out, this was frequently done for the sake of pro-
tection or security, and ' commendation,' 2 though it
imposed homage, seems not always to have implied
1 See his State of Europe during the Middle Ages, vol. i. pp. 114-5. (9th
2 It may be pointed out in this connection that the Domesday freeholders
' were at liberty to sell their lands without the permission of any Lord, and
to enter into a voluntary bond, known as commendation, by which they
became the retainers of a magnate in return for his protection. But the
bond did not necessarily confer on their Lord any right over their land.'
See Domesday Inquest, by Ballard, p. 128. (Methuen, 1907.)
A RETROSPECT 11
feudal service, being apparently dissolvable at the
Whether this homage was for the grant of twelve
villas in England, and a subsidy which William gave
a feudal recognition only or whether Malcolm
really ' became the man of the Conqueror ' for his
kingdom, or only for Lothian and Cumberland or
certain possessions in England, English and Scottish
historians will dispute to the day of doom. It was
not, however, upon this homage paid by Malcolm to
William, but upon the alleged 'commendation* of
Scotland to England in A.D. 924, that Edward I.
based his claim to the overlordship l of Scotland
which was the origin of the ' feud ' that raged along
the Border for nigh three centuries.
Of the aforesaid 'commendation' the chronicler
gives this account. ' In this year was Edward King
chosen to father and to lord of the Scots' King
(Constantine n.), and of the Scots and of Regnald
King, and of all Northumbrians and eke of the Strath
Clyde Wealas King, and of all Strath Clyde Wealas.'
With regard to this Dr. Hill Burton observes that
these ' memoriales ' derive their importance from the
1 In reply to Pope Boniface's claim that Scotland was held in fief of
the Court of Home, Edward i., says the Scalachronica, ' caused a general
Parliament to be summoned to Lincoln, where it was declared by all laws
imperial, civil, canonical and royal, and by the custom of the Isle of Britain
in all times from the days of Brutus, that the sovereignty of Scotland
belonged to the regality of England, which was announced to the Pope.'
12 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
political use made of them later in connection with
feudal institutions and their distinct practice of
superiority and homage.
As to the authority for the statement that Malcolm
Canmore became the Conqueror's 'man,' Dr. Hill
Burton observes that Florence of Worcester drew
his information from Walter 1'Espec's speech at the
Battle of the Standard in 1138, wherein Malcolm is
said to have become William Rufus's ' man/ and the
aforementioned writer thus sums up, ' The best we
can make of the affair is, that it was a step in those
arrangements by which the King of Scotland found
it expedient to hold any land he claimed South of the
Border through an understanding with the King of
Northumberland, Durham, Cumberland and West-
moreland were not included in the Domesday Survey,
either because they were too desolate, or, as has
lately been suggested, because they were left as a
limes or boundary by the Conqueror against the
northern kingdom, and you must not forget that
not till past the middle of the twelfth century did
Scotland renounce her claim to Cumberland and
Northumberland, for it was not till 1157 that
Malcolm iv. agreed with his cousin Henry of England
to give up all claim to Cumbria and Northumberland,
so that not till this date can we draw the boundary
A RETROSPECT 13
between England and Scotland by Solway and
Henry IL, again, by his thrice-fortunate capture of
William the Lion at Alnwick, obtained as the price of
his liberation the ' admission of a complete feudal
superiority over the Kingdom of Scotland/ This
was duly set forth in very distinct terms in the
Treaty of Falaise in 1174, and William had to do
homage not only for his English possessions, but also
for Scotland, and all his other possessions.
But Bichard Coeur de Lion, resolving to 'take
the Cross,' renounced his claim for homage, and re-
served only the title to such homage as was anciently
rendered by Malcolm Canmore.
' For this renunciation William paid 10,000 marks ;
a sum which probably assisted in furnishing the
expenses of Richard's expedition to Palestine.'
This claim then was revived by Edward I., who
induced the Scots Lords to recognise himself as Lord
Paramount before he proceeded to the election of
Balliol to the Scottish crown.
It is true that Alexander in. who had married
Margaret, Edward i.'s sister had done homage 1 to
Edward for the lands he held of him in England
1 His words as given in Kymer are : ' Ego Alexander Hex Scotise
devenio ligeus homo Domini Edwardi Kegis Anglise contra omnes gentes,'
and Robert de Bruce at Alexander's request swears allegiance for him.
'Ego Alexander, Kex Scotiae, portabo bonam fidem Domino Edwardo
14 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
(Tynedale and Penrith), but John Balliol did homage
to him for Scotland, thus acknowledging Edward as
Toom Tabard (empty coat) the Scots termed the
unfortunate John, and so greatly did they mislike his
lack of patriotism and his ill-luck that many years
afterwards they insisted upon John, son of Robert IL,
sinking his baptismal name and assuming as his kingly
title that of Robert in., wherefore he is sometimes
alluded to as John Faranyeir or Fernyeir, meaning,
he who was formerly called John.
'Now Edward I./ to quote Mr. Andrew Lang, who
acts as the fairest of umpires on this intricate battle-
field, 'the greatest of the Plantagenets, the brave
warrior, the open-handed friend, the true lover, the
generally far-sighted politician, was not the false and
cruel monster of early Scottish legend.
'But he was mortal ; clement by disposition and
feeling his temper could be stirred into cruelty by
' He took advantage of Scotland's necessities, and of
the weaknesses and ambition of the Anglo-Norman
foreign leaders to drive the hardest of conceivable
' Having decided the pleas in favour of Balliol, as
Regi Anglise, et haeredibus suis Eegibus Angliae, servitia, de vita et
membris, et terreno honore, et fideliter faciam servitia, debita de terris et
tenementis, quse teneo de Kege Angliee supradicto.'
A RETROSPECT 15
was just), it was now in Edward's power to support
Balliol, and to treat him with generous and states-
'To Balliol, the vassal, he was uniformly lenient
and just ; to Balliol, the King, he was proud and un-
bending to the last degree.'
Not satisfied then with suzerainty, Edward was
determined to make Scotland part of his own
kingdom. The easiest way to do that was to goad
Balliol into rebellion, and then to confiscate the
kingdom of Balliol. ' This was what Edward de-
liberately did. The result was that, far from winning
Scotland, Edward converted that nation into a
dangerous enemy, and presented France with a
James I. of Scotland, by his treaty and the marry-
ing of his daughter Margaret to the French Dauphin
(afterwards Louis XL), cemented this alliance between
France and Scotland that had so often proved, and
was so often through long years to continue to prove,
so inimical to England.
Thus two years after this marriage, when Lord
Scrope was sent to negotiate a peace with Scotland
on the basis of restoring Berwick and Roxburgh, it
was urged in the Scots Parliament that peace could
not be made without the consent of France.
Death prevented, however, Edward i.'s plans for
16 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
the subjugation of Scotland from being realised ;
Bannockburn also intervened; and in 1328 by the
Treaty of Northampton Scottish independence was
'There was to be perpetual peace between the
two kingdoms ; the Coronation Stone was to be re-
stored to Scone (which has never been fulfilled to this
day), and the King of England was to use his good
offices at the Papal See to obtain remission from
excommunication for the King of Scots.
'The Ragman Roll, being the damning record of
all the Scottish gentlemen who had done fealty to
Edward i., was to be returned to Scotland, and also
that chip of the true Cross which the Scots had
learned to revere as the Black Rood. 1
' In return for the surrender of all claim to
suzerainty on the part of England, the Scottish
government bound itself to pay 20,000 in three
instalments at Tweedmouth.' 2
This final reconciliation was to be consummated
by the marriage, which took place in the following
year, between the son of King Robert David n.
and the Princess Joanna, daughter of Edward in.
1 The Black Rood was a large crucifix, with figures of St. Mary and
St. John, of silver ; but a small gold crucifix, probably with a relic of the
Cross enclosed in it, which had been St. Margaret's, was apparently also
called the Black Cross or Eood. Both were at Durham. See Bites of
Durham, ed. Fowler. (Surtees Society, vol. cvii.)
2 Sir Herbert Maxwell, The Story of the Tweed.
THE ORIGIN OF THE FEUD 17
THE ORIGIN OF THE FEUD
It needs not to invoke the rnuse, to apostrophise
Clio, in order to discover who first set afoot the feud,
or ' blew the coal ' betwixt the English and the Scots.
Edward I. would doubtless willingly lay claim
to be the founder, for he certainly hated the Scots
as much as they hated him. It was owing to
his policy that the bickerings betwixt English and
Scots, which had been at first intermittent, and as it
were merely occasional diversions to the people of
those days what football matches are to ours, or the
usual activities of one sovereign against the other's
realm at a favourable moment, when he was ill or
abroad grew into ' deadly feud ' and separated the
two nations as with a fresh vallum or dyke of hatred
for some three hundred years.
When Edward died it was on 6th July 1307, near
Burgh-upon-Sands, by Solway, with his eyes looking
towards Scotland, fulfilled of anger and longing for
vengeance * he made his son promise,' writes Sir
Walter Scott, ' never to make peace with Scotland
until the nation was subdued. He gave also very
singular directions concerning the disposal of his
dead body. He ordered that it should be boiled in
18 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
a cauldron till the flesh parted from the bones, and
that the bones should be wrapped up in a bull's hide
and carried at the head of the English Army as often
as the Scots attempted to recover their freedom.
1 His son, Edward the Second, did not choose to
execute the strange injunction, but caused his father
to be buried in Westminster Abbey ; where his tomb
is still to be seen, bearing for an inscription :
'"Edwardus longus Scotorum malleus hie est."
(Here lies Edward Longshanks, the hammer of the
Stow in his Annales merely says that the King
' being himselfe vexed with the bloodie flixe [flux] he
sent unto his sonne that he should come with speede
to heare his last wordes whome, among other thinges,
he did consell to bee merciful, just and constant in
all his wordes and deedes : he commaunded him not
to be too hastie to take upon him this Crowne of
England, untill hee had revenged this doone by the
Scottes, but rather to staye in those parts, and to
cause his Father's bones (being closed in a chest) to
be borne about with him, till he had gone throrow all
Scotland and overcome his adversaries.'
THE ASPECT OF THE MARCHES 19
THE ASPECT OF THE MARCHES AND CHARACTER OF THE
MARCHMEN, WITH AN ACCOUNT OF ' DEADLY FEUD '
' For here be some have pushed as far
On Scottish ground as to Dunbar ;
Have drunk the monks of St. Bothan's ale
And driven the beeves of Lauderdale,
Harried the wives of Greenlaw's goods
And given them light to set their hoods.'
THE RAID AND THE FORAY
LESLIE in the ' nynt bulk ' of his History of Scotland,
under date 1531, writes :
' Quhen the King of Ingland saw that his bordour's
war in gret danger, gif the Scot's bourdour maid ony
invasione or onset, cheiflie because the Inglis bordour
was sa il inhabited, 1 sa few in multitude, and the
Scotis bordour sa weil inhabited, and in sik multiplie ;
he consulted with al his estates how to remeid this.
1 About the same date Sir Robert Bowes, in his Book of the State of the
Frontiers and Marches, tells us that the ' great occasion of the disorder of
bothe those Countries [Tyndale and Redesdale] is yt there be mo in-
habitants within eyther of them, then the said Countries may susteine to
live trewlie, for upon a ferme of a noble rent there do inhabite in some
place there iii or iiij householders, etc.' We may conclude perhaps that
the Scots soil being richer furnished an easier subsistence proportionately to
the number of its inhabitants and repaid cultivation better than the soil of
the English Marches.
20 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
His wil was to rais a taxte throuch al Ingland, that
as the Scotis bordour was well disponet for the
inhabitouris in hilis and dales, sa mycht the Inglis
be brocht to the same dis-positioence : bot because
the Inglishmen war wonnt ay to be frie of custome,
nawyse wil tha grant that custome to the King, and
sa nathing was concludet quhat the King requiret.'
Probably then even in early days the Scottish
Border was more fertile and better cultivated than
the English : certainly the great vale of the Tweed
suggests fertility, in strong contrast to the barrenness
of the Coquet, Rede and North Tyne. c Scotland
shows like a fair garden,' said a shepherd in the
writer's presence not many years ago on the height
of Windy Gyle, glancing forward to the distant pro-
spect northward, after viewing the bleak moorland
behind him that spread away to the water of Coquet.
To-day lambs will 'make' five shillings more
through the winter if pastured on the north side of
the Tweed; potatoes will bring in a greater return
per ton and wheat per boll when grown upon the
Scots side of the Border river.
' The rich old red sandstone is the root cause of it,'
so a practical Northumbrian farmer, a lessee of many
acres, assured the writer.
Again, another advantageous factor for England in
the spoiling of her ' old enemy ' lay in the comparative
THE ASPECT OF THE MARCHES 21
freedom from intestine feuds amongst the English
Even on the occasion of a national Scots raid as,
for example, before the ' Battle of Otterburn,' l when
' the doughty Douglas bound him to ride
Into England to drive a prey,'
the clan Jardine would not go with him.
' The Jardines would not with him ride
And they rue it to this day.'
Scots and English alike were inbred thieves ; but
the feuds that broke out between the Scots and Kers,
and Kers and Elliots, and the Maxwells and Johnstones
must often have sadly hampered their activities, and
again the heads of the great Scottish clans upon
the marches were far oftener at variance with their
sovereign than was the case on the Southern Border,
for the Scots Borderers in general were very loose in
their alliance to him whom they termed occasionally
in contempt ' the King of Fife.'
Now, surveying the desolations through the
centuries wrought upon the Border by either side, it
1 The opening or opportunity offered by the animosity of the great
Border families may be illustrated from Froissart, who says that the Scots
raid that terminated in the Battle of Otterburn was due to the quarrel
between Neville and Percy. 'The Barons and Knights of Scotland
knowing of this, determined on an inroad to England, as the
opportunity was favourable, now that the English were quarrelling amongst
themselves, to make some return for the many insults they had suffered
22 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
may perhaps be asked why the history of the marches
should possess such a fascination? Why should it
not be passed by as but a record of the fighting of
' kites and crows ' ?
The country itself is very bare in aspect, cold in
climate, largely uninhabited to this day. Harvestless as
ocean, it stretches its league-long billows of grey-green
grass land and brown bent to the uttermost horizon.
Parched by the harsh winds, cropped by the grey
mists, and void of trees, wherein lies its fascination ?
It is because of its very u,ntamed aspect that it
charms. It is the home of romance, and the wild land
has been the fruitful mother of a wild, stern chivalry.
A splendidly hardy, 1 Spartan type of character
resulted, and the women were not inferior in courage
to the men. Thus when a Milburn, proceeding to
settle a little difference in Bellingham with another
Borderer, called to his wife, * Wife, bring me out a
clean sark : it sail niver be said that the bluid of
the Milburns ran down upon foul linen/ she
promptly obeyed, and stood watching the combat
with discarded ' sark ' upon her arm.
Another Milburn of the same ' grayne,' ' Barty of
1 Cp. Camden on Northumberland in his Britannia, p. 847. (London,
1695.) ' The country itself is mostly rough and barren, and seems to have
harden'd the very carcasses of the inhabitants : whom the neighbouring
Scots have render'd yet more hardy, sometimes inuring them to war, and
sometimes amicably communicating their customs and way of living.'
THE ASPECT OF THE MARCHES 23
the Comb,' who flourished about the end of the
seventeenth century, was the hero of a hundred tales.
The following exploit of his was told to the writer
by a descendant of the same family.
One morning as Barty came forth from his Pele
tower he discovered that his sheep were missing.
Forthwith he went up to the neighbouring Pele of
his friend, Corbit Jock, to inform him of the loss.
' Ay/ said Corbit Jock, * Scotland will ha' them
So without more words the two friends set off upon
the 'hot trod.' They travelled on foot down the
Blakehope burn into Redewater, and so over the
Carter into Scotland.
Losing the track of the sheep they determined to
right themselves by ' lifting ' the best Scots wethers
they knew of, which were those at Leatham Farm,
near Souden. There they selected the finest of the
flock, and set off homewards, driving their booty
before them. Whereupon the Scotsmen, becoming
aware of this unexpected raid, sent two of their best
swordsmen in pursuit. At Chattlehope Spout, Barty
and Jock were overtaken, and a parley ensued. Barty
generously offered to give up half of his flock, but
'toomhanded' he would not return home. The
Scotsmen, however, would not agree to this, and
soon swords were swiftly flashing upon the moor.
24 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
'Leave the better man to me/ cried Barty, and two
desperate duels were at once in full swing.
The Scots swordsman shortly ran Barty through
the thigh, but the Englishman, with a sudden wrench
of his body, succeeded in snapping the sword in two,
when he was promptly attacked by the second Scot,
who had already slain his friend Jock.
Then Barty with a mighty back-handed sweep of
his sword caught the Scot in the neck, 'garring his
heid to spang alang the heather like an inion,' and
then chased his fresh assailant and cut him down
instantly. He then collected the swords, shouldered
his dead friend, and drove off all the wethers in front
of him, and stayed not till he had brought back Jock
to his own door-cheek and the sheep to his fold.
The character of the Borderers on either side of
the march, as they were subject to the same stress
and similar conditions of life, did not vary greatly, and
their dialect was almost identical. Froissart gives
the following account of the Scots Borderers, which
would probably be also applicable to the English : -
'The Scots are bold, hardy, and much inured to
war. When they make their invasions into England,
they march from twenty to twenty-four leagues *
1 The editor in a footnote says, ' Whenever English leagues are mentioned
Lord Berners translates them, and probably correctly, miles : it is in-
credible that a body of men armed at all points should travel from 60 to
80 miles a day on horseback, which the Scots must have done, if
we are here to read leagues.' But it must be pointed out in this con-
nection that immediately before the above passage of Froissart, it is stated
THE ASPECT OF THE MARCHES 25
without halting, as well by night as by day : for
they are all on horseback, except the camp followers,
who are on foot. The knights and esquires are well
mounted on large bay horses, the common people on
' They bring no carriages with them on account of
the mountains they have to pass in Northumberland :
neither do they carry with them any provisions of
bread or wine : for their habits of sobriety are such,
in time of war, that they will live for a long time on
flesh half sodden, without bread, and drink the river
water without wine. They have therefore no occasion
for pots or pans : for they dress the flesh of their
cattle in the skins, after they have taken them off :
and, being sure to find plenty of them in the country
which they invade, they carry none with them.
Under the flaps of his saddle, each man carries a
broad plate of metal : behind the saddle a little bag
of oatmeal : when they have eaten too much of the
sodden flesh, and their stomach appears weak and
empty, they place this plate over the fire, mix with
water their oatmeal, and when the plate is heated,
that Carlisle is distant from Newcastle ' 4 and 20 English Leagues,' which
is incorrect if translated into miles ; again, it may be added that sometimes,
even in the present age, the followers of the Border Hounds will ride as
many as sixty miles in the day, and the present writer has left home, and
returned thither, in the dark, after a prolonged run. The Borderers of
old rode out of necessity the story of the Charlton Spur (which is still
treasured at Hesleyside) will recur to the memory and the descendants of
the ancient 'names,' as the Robsons, Dodds, Elliots, still exhibit the like
gift of horsemanship and tireless riding.
26 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
they put a little of the paste upon it, and make their
cake, like a cracknel or biscuit, which they eat to
warm their stomachs ; it is therefore no wonder that
they perform a longer day's march than other
The following character of ' the Northern Gentry '
is taken from Gray's Chorographia* first printed in
' The nobility and gentry of the North are of great
antiquity, and can produce more ancient families
than any other part of England : many of them
gentry before the conquest : the rest came in with
William the Conqueror. The noblemen and gentry
of the north hath been always imployed in their
native country, in the warres of the Kings of
England against the Scots ; all of them holding their
lands in Knights service, to attend the warres in
their own persons, with horse and speare, as the
manner of fighting was in those dayes.
' Some gentlemen held their lands in cornage 3 by
blowing a home to give notice that the Scots, their
enemies, had invaded the land. The Scots, their
1 P. 18, vol. ii. Froissart. Johnes' translation. (G. Routledge & Sons.)
2 See p. 67 of Eeprints. (Richardson, Newcastle.) 1813.
3 Cornage. This is an ancient and picturesque error. Cornage is the O. F.
cornage the 'droit qui se levait sur les betes a cornes.' As Robertson
points out in his Historical Essays, ' The tenure of a pastoral state of
society was Cornage. The herd was numbered, or the flock, the tenth
animal was set apart as the prerogative of the King or Overlord.'
THE ASPECT OF THE MARCHES 27
neighbouring enemies, hath made the inhabitants of
Northumberland fierce and hardy, whiles sometimes
they kept themselves exercised in the warres : being
a most warre-like nation, and excellent good light
horsemen, wholly addicting themselves to wars and
armes, not a gentleman amongst them, that hath not
his castle or tower : and so it was divided into a
number of barronies, the lords whereof, in times past,
before King Edward the First's days, went commonly
under the name of barons, although some of them
were of no great living. It was the policy of the
Kings of England to cherish and maintain martiall
prowesse among them, in the Marches of the
Kingdome if it were nothing else, but with an
honourable bare title. Some gentlemen of the north
are called to this day Barons/
It must not be forgotten that the inhabitants of
the Border on either side regarded the vocation of
raiding and reiving as an art, a rougher sort of
' I would have none think that I call them Thieves ;
For if I did it would be arrant lies.'
So Captain Walter Scot of Satchel wrote in the
seventeenth century of the Armstrongs, and regard-
ing the Borderer in this wise we need not be con-
cerned about his fate, for the perfect hunter goes, as
Gaston de Foix says advisedly, tout droit en paradis.
28 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
' Hunting causeth a man to eschew the 7 deadly
sins,' so it is written in the book of the Master of
Game, and again, ' Men are better when riding, more
just and more understanding, and more alert and
more at ease, and more undertaking, and better
knowing of all countries and all passages : in short
and long all good customs and manners cometh
thereof, and the health of man and of his soul.'
Sir Philip Sidney the Bayard of England sans
peur et sans reproche, that 'very gentle parfit knight/
rightly divined the jewel that lay beneath the hard
aspect of the country and the harsh, nay, often brutal,
deeds of the ' Borderers dwelland on the marches ' ;
and Goldsmith wrote thus in his Essays, ' The music
of the most accomplished singer is dissonance, to what
I felt when an old dairymaid sang me into tears with
" Johnie Armstrong's Last Good Night."
In his deft and memorable words, Sir Philip Sidney
likened the Border Ballad to the trumpet's sound, as
he wrote in his Apologie for Poetrie : c Certainly I
must confess my barbarousness, I never heard the old
story of Percy and Douglas that I found not my heart
moved more than with a trumpet; and yet it is sung
but by some blind crowder, with no rougher voice than
rude style ; which being so evil apparrelled in the dust
and cobwebs of that uncivil age, what would it work
trimmed in the gorgeous Eloquence of Pindare f '
THE ASPECT OF THE MARCHES 29
Sir Philip had stayed upon the Western March as
a guest at Brougham Castle, and there, it is said, had
written part of his Arcadia : he may even have seen
the bale fire on Penrith beacon flame on the mid-
night sky as it handed on the red warning from
Skiddaw that the Scots or the ' Batablers ' were
Life upon the Borders, during those centuries of
raiding, to our modern mind no doubt seems un-
endurable, a monotonous breaking of the Sixth and
Eighth Commandments. Yet even then there were
peaceful intervals, it must not be forgotten, when the
various ' names ' or clans on either march wended their
way to the high fells with their flocks, and spent their
spring and summer in pastoral occupations, and would
converse with each other even as outlying picquets
of soldiers do when a truce has been proclaimed.
They got to know each other then : they met also at
football matches and horse races, and we read of Scots
and English entering into ' bonds ' for each other at
Border meetings or days of truce.
You read of ' Humprey Musgrave ' (Lord Scrope's
deputy) taking the Laird of Mangerton prisoner in
his own house in Liddesdale, and bringing him
prisoner to Carlisle ' to answere what shalbe layd unto
him.' Then again later you read of a horse race in
Liddesdale where Humprey Musgrave's horse ' Bay
30 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
Sandforth ' ' ran and won all the 3 bells,' and was
presently given to the Laird of Mangerton. 1
The education of the ancient Persians, so Xenophon
tells us, was devoted to the inculcation of three virtues,
riding, shooting, and speaking the truth. That
of the Borderers of old was devoted to a somewhat
similar Trivium, riding, raiding, and keeping troth.
The keeping troth meant loyalty to their word, but
it also included loyalty to their chief or headsman.
Thus Constable, 2 employed as a spy by Sir Ralph
Sadler, says that ' they would not care to steal, and
yet they would not bewray any man that trust in
them for all the gold in Scotland and France/ And
again in regard to the Regent Murray, who sur-
rendered the Earl of Northumberland to Elizabeth,
and Hector of Harlaw (an Armstrong), who betrayed
him when he had taken refuge in Scotland after the
failure of the rising of the North, this same Constable
reports the indignation of the Borderers, ' some out-
laws of England, some of Scotland,"* against the
Regent Murray and Hector of Harlaw as follows :
' I hard, vox populi, that the Lord Regent would
not, for his own honor, nor for the honor of his
country, deliver the Earles, if he had them bo the,
unless it were to have there Quene delivered to him,
1 See Calendar of Border Papers, vol. i. pp. 127 and 180.
2 Sadler, State Papers, vol. ii. pp. 380-95. (Edinburgh, 1809.)
THE ASPECT OF THE MARCHES 31
and if he wold agre to make that change the
Borderers wold stert up in his contrary, and rescue
both the Quene and the Lords from him, for the like
shame was never done in Scotland ; and that he durst
better eate his owne luggs than come again to seke
Farneherst ; if he did, he should be fought with ere
he came over Soutrey edge. Hector of Harlowe's hedd
was wished to have been eaten among us at supper.'
A proverbial saying, which dates from this time,
* to take Hector's cloak/ denoted the infamy of such
betraying of faith. Froissart also alluded to the same
faithfulness. ' English and Scots are excellent men
at arms,' he says, ' and whenever they meet in battle
they do not spare each other ; nor is there any check
to their courage so long as the weapons endure.
When they have well beaten each other, and one
party is victorious, they are so proud of the conquest
that they ransom their prisoners instantly, and in such
courteous manner to those who have been taken, that
on their departure they return them their thanks.'
If when the time of payment arrived the prisoner
was not able to settle with his captor, he would at
once surrender himself. There is a celebrated instance
of the loyalty of the follower to his chief in the
tracking of Starkhed, one of the murderers of Sir
Robert Ker, the Scottish Warden, at a Border meeting
32 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
Starkhed fled, it is said, nearly as far south as
York, and there lived in private and upon his guard.
'Yet in this place of security he was surprised and
murdered by two of Sir Robert Kerr's followers, who
brought his head to their master, by whom, in
memorial of their vengeance, it was exposed at the
Cross of Edinburgh.'
Sir Walter Scott, alluding to this in his introduction
to Border antiquities, writes :
' As the Chief was expected to protect his followers,
in good and evil, from the assaults of their neighbours,
and even from the pursuit of justice, the followers and
clansmen were expected, on the other hand, to exhibit
the deepest marks of devotion to his interest, never
to scruple at his commands when alive, and in case of
his death by violence, to avenge him, at whatever
risk to themselves/
Thinking upon these rugged virtues of the wild
Borderers, we may ' confess our barbarousness/ for
they developed a type of character which has lasted
with advantage to the State to the present day.
Underneath the 'barbarousness' lay the warm
heart, the set purpose and the firm faith of the
Borderer, and the fine lines of the great Northum-
brian poet may well be applied, though written in
honour of Northumberland, to the whole extent of
THE ASPECT OF THE MARCHES 33
' None save our Northmen ever, none but we,
Met, pledged or fought
Such foes and friends as Scotland and the sea
With head so high and equal, strong in glee
And stern in thought.
The splendour and the strength of storm and fight
Sustain the song
That filled our fathers' hearts with joy to smite,
To live, to love, to lay down life that right
Might tread down wrong.
They warred, they sang, they triumphed and they passed,
And left us glad
Here to be born their sons, whose hearts hold fast
The proud old love no change can overcast,
No chance leave sad.'
'DEADLY FEUD >X
' The people of this country hath had one barbarous
custom amongst them : if any two be displeased, they
expect no law, but bang it out bravely, one and his
1 ' Deadly feud ' arising originally out of the spirit of clanship and pride
of family was extended even to cases tried at the assizes out of arrogance
Thus Musgrave in a report to Burghley concerning 'Border Eiders'
(Calendar of Border Papers) says :
' Hardly deare anie gentlemen of the cuntrey be of any jury of lyfe and
death yf any of them be indyted, as the justices of that circuit can testefie,
they are growne so to seke bloode, for they will make a quarrell for the
death of their grandfather, and they will kyll any of the name they are in
34 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
kindred against the other and his : they will subject
themselves to no justice, but in an inhuman and
barbarous manner, fight and kill one another ; they
run together clangs (as they tarme it), or names.
This fighting they call their feides, or deadly feides ;
a word so barbarous that I cannot explain it in any
' Of late since the union of the kingdomes, the
heathenish bloody custom is repressed, and good
laws made against such barbarous and unchristian
misdemeanours and fightings.'
So wrote Gray of the Northumbrian, but the
Scottish Borderer obeyed the old Hebraic precept of
' eye for eye and tooth for tooth ' even more devoutly,
the 'perfervidum ingenium Scotorum' 1 being peculi-
arly manifested therein.
The length to which such a feud might go is well
illustrated by the mutual hatred of the Johnstone
and Maxwell clans.
This feud arose in 1585, when John, Lord Maxwell,
falling under the displeasure of the Court, was
denounced rebel, and a commission was given to
1 Note to Leyden's ' Ode on visiting Flodden ' (Border Minstrelsy, vol. iii.,
Cadell's Edition), where it is written that 'in the Border Counties of
Scotland, it was formerly customary, whenever any rancorous enmity
subsisted between two clans, to leave the right hand of male children
unchristened, that it might deal the more deadly, or, according to the
popular phrase, "unhallowed blows" to their enemies. By this super-
stitious rite, they were devoted to bear the family feud, or enmity.'
DEADLY FEUD 35
the Laird of Johnstone (then Warden) to arrest
In the fighting that ensued Johnstone's castle of
Lochwood was burned, and he himself subsequently
defeated and made prisoner, of which disgrace, it is
said, he died.
Maxwell was now made Warden and subscribed a
bond of alliance with Sir James Johnstone, but in
1593 the feud broke out again, and at the battle by
Dryffe Sands, near Lockerby, Johnstone was victorious
and Maxwell was cruelly slain. Maxwell's son swore
deep revenge, and in 1608 accomplished his purpose
by the basest treachery. The murderer fled, but was
eventually apprehended after his return from France,
and condemned and beheaded in 1613.
' Thus,' wrote Sir Walter Scott in the Border
Minstrelsy (' Lord Maxwell's Good Night '), ' was
finally ended by a salutary example of severity, the
foul debate betwixt the Maxwells and Johnstones,
in the course of which each family lost two chieftains ;
one dying of a broken heart, one in the field of battle,
one by assassination, and one by the sword of the
' Though I have slain the Lord Johnstone,
What care I for their f eid 1
My noble mind their wrath disdains,
He was my Father's deid.
36 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
Both night and day I labour'd oft
Of him avenged to be ;
But now I 've got what lang I sought,
And I may not stay with thee.'
These family vendettas were an 'unconscionable
time a-dying ' out, for ' all is dishonorabell/ said
Alexander Napier in 1600 when offered 1000 by
Buccleugh, the first Lord Scott, as blood money for
his brother's slaughter, ' quhair there is not eie for
eie and tuith for tuith.'
And finally in 1611, James vi. and I. has to call
upon the Privy Council the deadly feud between
Veitches and Tweedies being yet unreconciled to
summon before them ' the principals of either
surname/ and force them to agree upon pain of
THE ENGLISH MARCHES 37
'THE MARCHES OF ENGLAND FOR ANEMPST SCOTLAND'
WITH SOME ACCOUNT OF THEIR ADMINISTRATION
THE survey of 1541 sets forth the boundary betwixt
England and Scotland, and describes the three divisions
of the Eastern, Middle, and Western Marches, which
stretched from Berwick to the Hanging Stone on
Cheviot, from Hanging Stone to Cryssop (or Kershope
foot), and from Cryssop to Carlisle.
Thus the Border line ran from the North to the
Irish Sea, from the river Tweed to Solway, athwart
' Cheviot's mountain lone,' along the Windy Gyle, 1
where Warden frequently met Warden (and where
Lord Francis Russell was slain in 1585 a cairn still
marking the spot), by the Reidswire at head of the
Rede (where the famous raid took place in 1575)
1 The trysting-places of the Wardens of the Marches seem usually to
have been, for the Eastern March the Hanging Stone on Cheviot or the
Riding burn ; for the Middle, Hexpeth gate on Windy Gyle or Gambles-
path slightly farther westward at head of Coquet ; and for the Western,
Kielder stone and Kershope foot. Cp. Lord Scrope's report, ' Cesford also
demanded meeting at Gamblespath, instead of Kirshopfoot, the accustomed
place, and put off justice for five years.' (Calendar of Border Papers.)
38 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
across Catcleugh Shin and broad Carter Fell to Peel
Fell, beyond Kielder and the mighty Kielder stone
where the western Wardens met, thence to the
meeting of the Kershope burn with the Liddle water,
and so by Esk to the Eden and the ancient Roman
town of Luguvallum the fair, red-walled town of
' merry Carlisle.'
What a host of warlike and romantic memories
follow upon these names !
Berwick-upon-Tweed bone of contention through
the centuries betwixt English and Scots taken and
retaken thirteen times, till Edward iv. in 1482
finally secured it to the English realm jealously
guarded by the Warden of the Eastern Marches the
' fairest jewel in her crown,' as Queen Elizabeth styled
it. Cheviot land and sea mark alike, from whose
eastern height you can see the storied coast of
Northumberland with its mighty castles proud
Bamborough, lonely Dunstanburgh, and a little
beyond and set within the sea Holy Island and the
Fames, with their undying memories of saintliness
and courage. On its western side you can see over
into Scotland across the dipping hills, and from afar
descry the purple Eildons in the vale of Tweed so
beloved by Sir Walter Scott, who dwelt within their
shadow, the scene of many a Chevy Chase and
innumerable skirmishes : as also the line of Watling
THE ENGLISH MARCHES 39
Street on its way to Ad Fines Camp at the head of
Coquet, where the Roman lituus sounded to the
earlier forays of Roman and Briton against the Picts.
On again the eye can travel westward in the direction
of Liddesdale, where the fiercest of the Borderers
the Elliots and the Armstrongs lived secure within
their ' swyres,' and finally the imagination will wing
its way on to high Skiddaw, within whose shadow
lies Carlisle, whereof the Lord Warden of the Western
March kept the castle, save when Buccleugh in 1596,
the date of the last great Border exploit, broke in
and took thereout ' Kinmont Will ' in despite of the
A romantic land indeed, and beyond all others the
scene of perpetual fightings even from before the
advent of the Romans right down to 1745, when
Prince Charlie took for some few weeks ' the red
town ' into Jacobite keeping.
We set down here the following description of the
Borders as given in a draft of Thomas Phillips 1
(Walsingham's secretary)in Queen Elizabeth's reign:
'The Borders are the three shires of Northumberland,
Westmerland and Comberland, which are the parts
farthest north of England adjoyning uppon Scotland.
They are devided according to theyr situacion into
3 marches the est marche, the west marche, the
1 See Calendar of Border Papers, vol. i. pp, 30-33.
40 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
middle marche. The est marche contayning the part
of Northomberland which is near unto Scotland on the
Est side of England, beginning at a place called the
Hanging Stone at the west end of the Forrest of
Cheviot, and so coming down by a little rinnel or
brooke, called Caudgate, which fallyth into the river
of Till, stretches as the old Borderers of the middle
marche affirme, from the north side of Bewick
Lordshippe down the water of Warne to the Warne-
ford, as the Lordshippes of Bamborough and Alnewick
are divided. But as the est Borderers say, the river
of Ale (Aln) maketh the division : which opinion
semeth presentlye to take place, part of Alnwicke
lordshipp being numbered with that marche.'
Sir Robert Bowes in his Report wrote that ' of the
perfect bounder betwene these two marches I could
never be certen/ but points out that 'the Lord
Ewrie/ Warden of the East March, 'clamed from
the confines of Berwike south-eastward to the water
of Aile, and so downe that water to the sea to be all
of the East Marches, and his argument was because
(as he said) all villages in that quarter were contribu-
torie to the findinge of the beakne at Lawes Castle.
' The west marches are the two shires of Comberland
and Westmorland, beginning, at Carsopp rigg, or as
the West Borderers and Scottes affirme, at the foote
of Carsopp or Carsopp rigg, a common passage
THE ENGLISH MARCHES 41
where many spoyles were wont to enter into the
border, and therefore the jurisdiction for the holle
refused by the Wardens, because the custom was in
former times that the same marche wher goods entred,
should be answerable for them at the day of truce.
' The middle marches bounded as before on the est
part, and on the west descending from Carsopp down
to Poutreshe, 1 and so further as the knowen division
goes of the shires of Westmorland and Comberland,
contayneth the rest of Northumberland.'
There was some doubt as to the precise western
limit of the Middle March, for, as Sir Robert Bowes
remarks in his Survey, 2 ' At Carsoppe [Kershope] hath
been some alteracion or doubt what partye thereof
is the true meetes or boundes, betwene the west
marches of England and the middle marches, for
the Borderers of the middle marches of England
affirme that the division is at Carsopp rigge or
Cassenburne [Ghristinbury] cragge, and both the
Scottes and the Borderers of the west marches of
England affirme that the bounder betweene ye said
1 Sir Robert Bowes calls it ' Powtresse ' (Poltross), a burn which runs
into the Irthing from the south somewhat west of Thirlwall Castle.
2 It will perhaps be of interest to the reader to know where to find the
report made of the English Border the Survey in 1550 by Sir Robert
Bowes which he calls his Informations. This Survey of the Border is
printed in Hodgson's History of Northumberland, and also from a foolscap
folio MS. from Sir Cuthbert Sharp's library, in Eeprints, vol. iv.
(Historical). (Richardson, Newcastle.)
42 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
marches is at the foote of Cassope or Carsope bridge,
which is a common and waye as well for the theves
of Tyndall, Bew Castle, and Gillesland in England
as for the theves of Liddesdale in Scotland with
there stollen goodes from th' one realm to th' other.'
In the accompanying map 1 Speed evidently follows
the opinion of the Borderers of the Middle March,
for he rounds Northumberland off by Christinbury
crag, not by Kershope foot.
From the above and from the musters of the
East and Middle Marches, as also from the musters
of Cumberland and Westmoreland made by the
command of the various Lord Wardens, one gathers
that for purposes of Border warfare all dwellers in
Northumberland and Cumberland and at least half
of those in Westmoreland might be called upon by
their various Wardens to take part in offensive or
defensive fighting. 2
1 Crosses have been added to this map at the generally accepted divisions
of the marches where the Wardens met.
2 TENURB ON THE BORDER
It was definitely enacted by the Border Laws, as will be shown later,
that every man must ' rise and follow the fray, upon blowing of horn, shout,
or outcry ; upon pain of death ' (Articles revised at Newcastle, sixth year
of Edward vi.), but from the first apportionment of lordships or manors by
William the Conqueror military service against the Scots seems to have
been included in their tenures.
' The tenants of the several manors were obliged all along, upon firing of
beacons or other warning, to attend their lord in the service of the Borders
at their own expense ; which attendance might be prolonged for 40 days.
THE ENGLISH MARCHES 43
Thus the East March from Berwick to the
Hanging Stone on Cheviot, and southward and
eastward therefrom to Alnmouth, was liable to be
mustered by the Warden of the East March.
The ' cumbersome ' Middle March from Cheviot to
Kershope foot westward, and southward as far as the
Tyne together with Hexhamshire and Allendale
was liable to be mustered by the Warden of the
The Tynemouth footmen seem to have been
excepted, for Sir Robert Bowes reports ' that of late
yt was ordered that the fottmen within the ye
Lordshippe of Tynmouth should be attendant upon
the Castle there, and not to assemble with the
And according to the value of their respective tenements, some were obliged
to serve on horseback, and others on foot, with their proper accoutrements.
Hence there were nag tenements and foot tenements : the owners whereof
were obliged to furnish their stipulated number respectively, on pain of
forfeiting their estate to this lord. Within the manor of Bewcastle in
particular, they seem to have been all nag tenements ; for in the reservation
of an heriot to the lord upon the death of a tenant, there is an exception
of the riding horse of every such tenant, kept by him for the lord's service,
according to various custom.' (Burn and Nicholson, vol. i. p. 8.) Again, in
the ' Survey of the Debateable and Border Lands adjoining the Kealm of
Scotland and belonging to the Crown of England, taken in 1604' (printed
by Sanderson, Alnwick, 1891, from Additional MS. 14,048, British
Museum), it is stated in the Fifth Article that ' the Tenants of the manor
of Wark challenge to holde their Tenements by title of Tenante right,
payinge their rents and doing their services upon the Border, which
services were to bee at the command of the Keeper to serve in fields on
horse or foote : for the defence of the Border land in which many of the
inhabitants have lost their lives ' ; and also in the Ninth Article it is stated
that ' the freeholders are at the commaunde of the Keeper (of Tynedale) to
serve in field on horse or foote for the defence of the Border Lands in as
strick a manner as anie of the customarye Tenants.'
44 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
Warden unlesse yt were for resistannce of an urgent
daingerous invasion, but the horsemen of that
Lordshippe should assemble at the commaundement
of ye Warden and ryde with him as the residue of
the Countrie do the.'
As for the Bishopric of Durham, 1 he reports that
* the nombre that have usuallie bene sent furth of
the Countrie of Durham for the resistannce of an
invasion of the enymyes within the east and middle
marches have bene 1,000 men or thereaboutes, or
towards an explotic or joineye to be donne in
Scotland 500 men or thereaboutes. And for the
assemblie of that releiffe the Warden have used to
write to the Bishoppe of Durhame (if he were
dwellinge within the Countrie) and in his absence
to the Sheriffe and other like officers of the same
The West March, again, running from Kershope
foot to Carlisle and the sea westward, and south-
ward extending as far as Shap and Crosby Bavens-
worth in Westmoreland, would be mustered by the
Warden of the Western March. The musters for
Cumberland, as given in the Calendar of Border
Papers in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, cover the
wards of Eskdale, the Leith ward, Cumberland ward
with the barony of Dalston, and ' Allerdale ward
1 See Appendix in.
THE ENGLISH MARCHES 45
beneath the water of Darwen' (the Derwent). The
muster of Allerdale ward above Derwent that is,
the portion of land lying between the rivers Derwent
and Duddon and extending by the coast line from
Workington to Broughton-in-Furness is not given
with the others in the Border Papers, but it is
grouped with the others in the return given by Mr.
Bell, the west Warden clerk.
In Westmoreland the west and middle wards are
included in the musters that is, roughly the country
from Ullswater to the Eden by Appleby, the east
ward and Kendal ward being apparently exempt.
We give here the Lord Wharton's Proclamation as
Warden of the West March in 1547.
' A PROCLAMATION MADE AT PENRITH, JUNE 14, 1547,
FOR RAISING THE POWER OF THE BORDER
'FORASMUCH as the Governor of Scotland, their
Queen, and other noblemen of that realm,
repared to Pebles upon Sunday at night last,
and also their ordnance coming from Edinburgh,
of intent with a great army of the whole body
of the said realm of Scotland to do some enter-
prize against the King's Majesty's possessions
and subjects upon their West Marches : THERE-
FORE, Thos. Wharton Knight, Lord Wharton,
Lord Warden of the West Marches of England
for anempst Scotland, captain of the King's
46 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
Majesty's City of Carlisle, and one of his
Highness's most honourable council, strictly
chargeth and commandeth in his Majesty's
name, that all his Highness's subjects, horsemen
and footmen, within the bounds of the said
West Marche, prepare their arrediness and
come forward with 10 days victualls, as hath
been appointed, so as they may be at Carlisle
upon Monday next at noon, not failing hereof
upon pain of death. Written at Carlisle this
Tuesday the 14th day of June 1547.
GOD SAVE THE KING.'
And also :
THE MUSTERS OF THE ENGLISH EAST, MIDDLE,
AND WEST MARCHES
In 1584 the musters of the English Borders are
given in the Border Papers as follows :
FOOTMEN OF THE WEST MARCH
Archers furnished, 1 1400 ; billmen furnished, 1300 ;
able men unfurnished, 1342. Total, 4042.
Archers furnished, 1100; billmen furnished, 1200;
able men unfurnished, 1340. Total, 3640.
Able men certified without mention of furniture,
1 See Appendix iv.
THE ENGLISH MARCHES 47
Furnished with jack and spear, 827.
Furnished with spear or lance only, 1347. Total,
AND OF HORSEMEN WEST MARCH
Burgh Barony, Gillesland, Queene Haymes, Eske,
Leven, Bewcastle, Holme Coltrim, Sark and the
Debatable ground and Forest of Inglewood provide
468. And out of the Counties of Westmorland and
THE EAST MARCH
Horsemen furnished, 267.
,, unfurnished, 546.
Horsemen furnished, 819.
As to the guardianship of the marches on either
side it may briefly be summed up as follows :
On the English Border there would be the garrison
at Berwick-on-Tweed under the control of the Lord
Warden, with a captain at Norham Castle and Wark
as aides; to him the inhabitants on the southern
side would owe Border service as far as the Hanging
Stone on Cheviot. The Middle March had its
separate Warden, who would reside possibly at
Alnwick, as Sir John Forster, or at Harbottle Castle,
as Sir Robert Carey, and who was responsible for
48 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
that great extent of country which took in the
remaining portion of Northumberland.
His Deputy would probably reside at his own
house, as did Sir Cuthbert Collingwood at Eslington,
who was for ever at enmity with his chief, Sir John
Forster, who held the middle Wardenship so long in
the reign of Queen Elizabeth.
Acting also under the Warden of the Middle March
would be the Keeper of Tynedale, often a Heron of
Chipchase Castle (as was the Sir John who was slain
at the Reids wire in 1575, on occasion of the famous
Warden's meeting there), and the Keeper of Redes-
dale, a Hall sometimes or a Reed, as the ' Percy
Reed/ for instance, of the well-known ballad who was
murdered for the due discharge of his duty by the
Croziers and the Halls, who held him at ' deadly feud.'
At Carlisle the Lord Warden of the Western March
usually resided in the castle, though Lord Scrope in
1577 was in residence at Rose Castle, while the great
' Lord Dacre of the North,' in the time of Henry vin. ,
dwelt at his castle of Naworth. Acting with
him along the Western March would be his Deputy,
sometimes a Lowther, whose duty it would be to
keep the fortress of Rockliffe and protect the embou-
chures of Esk and Eden, together with his Constable,
and the Stewards and Bailiffs of various Baronies, the
Captain of Bewcastle, who was appointed by the
THE ENGLISH MARCHES 49
Crown, and resided with a garrison at Bewcastle
Castle, whose duty especially it was to stay the men
of Liddesdale from raiding into England across ' the
On the Scottish side again the east Warden was
usually a Hume, residing generally in Hume Castle ;
the middle Warden was generally a Ker, whether of
Cessford or Ferniehirst, who frequently also held the
Provostship of Jedburgh ; while the western Warden
was as a rule a Johnstone or a Maxwell, residing at
Loch wood Tower, or Lochmaben, or Caerlaverock
Castle respectively. He would seem also to have
had control over Nithsdale, and Galloway, and the
west part of Teviotdale, and on occasion he appears
to have held therewith the Provostship of Dumfries.
THE KEEPERSHIP OF LIDDESDALE
As Mr. R. B. Armstrong points out in his inter-
esting History 1 of Liddesdale, ' the district was gener-
ally included in the Middle March/ but (owing
probably to its always having been a distinct lord-
ship and also on account of the extreme lawless-
ness of its inhabitants), it was during the greater
part of the sixteenth century a separate charge,
under the rule of a Keeper specially appointed by the
1 History of Liddesdale. (Douglas. Edinburgh, 1883.)
50 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
In the first instance, Liddesdale was ruled by the
Douglases as hereditary Wardens of the West March ;
later, when the Keepership was instituted, a Deputy
was appointed, who seems ex officio to have been
Captain of Hermitage Castle.
When the Keepership of Liddesdale had become a
separate charge, the Lords of Liddesdale were often
Keepers, as e.g. the Bothwells. Thus Patrick, Earl
of Bothwell, was Keeper in 1528 ; James, Earl of
Bothwell, also was Keeper, and resided in Hermitage,
where, when he lay wounded, Queen Mary rode over
from Jedburgh to see him. His nephew and suc-
cessor, Francis, likewise served in this office. Finally
Buccleugh, first Lord Scott, was appointed Keeper
by James vi. and allowed rank as Warden.
It was always very difficult to get justice done for
Liddesdale, since the fierce Elliots and Armstrongs
dwelling within their ' swyres ' were as a byke of
hornets, and apparently from the following letter of
Scrope's clerk under eight successive Keeperships no
meeting had been held with the English Warden of
the West March. ' All theise underwritten as is
credible enformed, have ben Keepers of Lyddesdaile
successyvelie, of whom their is nether recorde nor
memorie so far as I can learne, for any meetinge for
redres with any the Wardens of the West March as
Gamelpeth for Lyddesdaill. The Lorde Burthick,
THE ENGLISH MARCHES 51
the Erie Bothwell, the Larde of Cawdor, the Larde
Trachguars, the Tutor of Petcurr, Mr. Mychell Bow-
flower, the Lorde Herries, the Larde of Carminghell.'
Each Warden had his various officers, such as Land
Serjeants and Water Serjeants (who apprehended
delinquents and carried instructions), clerks to keep
the Warden Courts, Setters and Searchers of the
Watches by the Fords, and lastly his company or
bodyguard of relatives, and those ' young bloods ' of
the Border who wished for the excitement and
experience of fight or raid.
Some further particulars may here be given of the
various other Keeperships on the Scots and English
Borders which were subordinate to the Wardenries,
as, for example, in the English Middle March Tyne-
dale and Redesdale, and in the Scots Western March
Annandale, the Keepership of which was in the hands
of the Captain of Langholm, 1 ' who lyeth with a
charge att the Castle of Langam.'
In Annandale, indeed, as one gathers from the
orders given in Appendix, No. 11, of the Leges
Marchiarum, there were various ' Warden deputies/
for the House of Annand was to be ' keeped with ane
1 ' This captaine lyeth with a charge att the Castle of Langam, yf there
be any breache or great rydinge in Scotland by English Borderers. And
he is called the Keeper of Annandale : his service opposite against
Beucastle, Eske and Leven or Bourgh at some tymes.' (' Musgrave's Report
to Burghley,' Calendar of Border Papers.)
52 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
honest man and wise, and he to be Warden Deputy,
and to hold with him xvi well-horsed men, and
the men to be called the Household : for their susten-
tation every one of them to have 100 m, 4 nithsdale
bolls of horse-come.'
Further, it is ordered in regard to the keeping of
the House of Lochmaben that it ' be keeped by ane
wise and famous gentleman, and he to have with him
five well-horsed men, and to be Stewart Deputy/ and
also that ' the Lairds of Howmaines and Newbie be
over the Helpers, Assisters, and maintainers of them.'
Further, the House of Howdam (Hoddam in
Annandale) was ' to be keeped with ane wise Stout
man, and to have with him four well-horsed men, and
these to have 2 stark footmen servants to keep
their horses, and the principal to have ane stout
footman. . . .'
The continual unrest and the constant thievery in
Annandale can be easily gauged by the appointment
of these various officers, Stewart-deputes, Warden-
deputes, Constables, Chamberlains and Captains.
On the English Border also we read of various
subordinate officers, such as Constables, Land Ser-
jeants and Captains. These Land Serjeants were the
Warden's officers, whose chief duty seems to have
been to apprehend thieves and fugitives in readiness
for a Warden's Court or ' Day of March,' while the
THE ENGLISH MARCHES 53
' Water Keepers/ Water Bailiffs and Water Serjeants
were bound to keep the ' entrance of all men without
lycence out of either marche/ and had 'libertie at
all tymes to enter the marches without licence, and
to carry messages or letters betwixt the Wardens/
In the case of the Land Serjeant of Gilsland, how-
ever, of whom frequent mention is made, more
important duties were attached to this particular
Originally he seems to have been Chief Steward or
Bailiff to the Lord of Gilsland, but when Queen
Elizabeth took away from Lord William Howard and
his wife (Lady Elizabeth Dacre 1 ' Bessie wi' the braid
apron') the baronies of Burgh, Graystock and Gilsland,
it was urged that Gilsland should be put upon the
same footing as Bewcastle captaincy, which was a
The following account of the Land Serjeants of
Gilsland is taken from Thomas Carleton's report
thereon in 1577 to Lord Burghley. (Calendar of
' The Land Serjeaunt, then but a particular servaunt
to the Lord Dacre, having in his absence the
1 ' Ultimately in 1601, the Queen permitted the sisters (the Ladies
Dacre, co-heiresses of the last Lord Dacre, who had been married to the
Earl of Arundel and Lord William Howard, respectively), to buy back
their lands by a payment of some 10,000 each, and the long lawsuit was
ended to the profit of the royal coffers.'
54 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
commaund and government of that whole barony of
Gilsland, having for his maintennance the better to
discharge that government, his chamber, stable, horse-
meat, allowannce for his men, all the Lord's household
servaunts, allwayes at the fewest 24 or 30, able and
well-horsed men, at his call and commaundement.
The land serjeaunt his dew fee for that office only five
pounds, and his lord and masters countenannce, which
was more than all the rest.' Apparently he (Thomas
Carleton, Land Serjeant) lived at Askerton, ' a house of
good strength and defence, and the only house in
Gilsland fit for the land Serjeant to dwell in.' 1
As for the Captaincy of Bewcastle, we quote the
following from the auditor's report to Cecil in Queen
Elizabeth's reign. ' Her Majesty in her 32nd year,
granted to Sir Simon Musgrave Knight, and Thomas
Musgrave his son for the term of their 2 lives,
Plumpton Park, with all rents, etc., being 168, 7s. Od.
per annum absque compoto seu aliquo inde reddendo.
And, as I take it, they have moreover as incident and
belonging to the said office of Captain of Bewcastle,
all the rentes, demeane landes and tithes of Bewcastle,
which I have hard to be better worth than 100 a
Thus the auditor to Cecil.
1 Border Papers, vol. ii. p. 575.
II. MAP OF THI
Reproduced from Arc/uzologia, Vol. XX II.,
ind permission of the Society oj Antiquaries.
THE DEBATABLE LAND 55
THE DEBATABLE LAND ITS EXTENT, CUSTOM, AND
'Dictua ager nunc variabilis, nunc litigiosus, nunc terra contentiosa
vocari solitus, coinmuni vero utriusque gentis vocabulo nuncupatur.'
The very extent of the ' Debatable Land ' seems
to be 'debatable,' for various are the dimensions
assigned to it ; the measurement most commonly
given is that of eight miles long by four broad, and
the content of it the land that lay between the
rivers of Sark l and Esk stretching from the Sol way
up to Kirkandrews, close to Canonby.
Yet Lord Dacre in 1550, two years before the
division, reports as Warden of the English Western
March that he thought it advisable 'for the better
maintenance of the king's title and interest of the
Debateable Land to go over the same water [of Sark]
into the same Rateable, before we either demanded, or
granted any assurance/ Now as the meeting was
appointed at Lochmabenstone, which is beside Solway
in Dumfriesshire, near to Gretna Green, it is clear
that Lord Dacre did not limit its extent to the lines
of the Esk and Sark rivers.
The ancient extent of the Debatable Ground
1 Viz. the White Sark ; a small confluent that flows into Sark by
Solway Moss is termed the Black Sark.
56 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
before the division is thus given by Burn and
Nicholson, vol. i. p. 16, from boundaries as set forth
in an old roll. ' Beginning at the foot of the White
Scyrke running into the sea, and so up the said water
of Scyrke, till it come to a place called the Pyngil-
burne foot running into the said water of Scyrke, and
up the Pyngilburne till it come to Pyngilburne know,
from thence to the Righeads, from the Righeads to
the Monke Rilande Burne, and from thence down
Hawenburne till it fall in Eske, and through Eske to
the foot of Terras, and so up Terras to the foot of
Reygill, and up the R-eygill to the Tophous, and so
to the standing stone, and to the Mearburne head
and down Mearburne to it fall in Lyddal at the
Rutterford, and down Lyddal to it fall in Eske, and
down Eske to it fall in the sea.'
They add, ' it was in length 8 computed miles
of the country and in breadth 4 miles/ but from
where the Sark flows into Solway to Raegill [Reygill]
is nearly ten miles, and the breadth from Raegill to
the Rutterford on Liddel is not far from five miles,
and this would seem to be the more correct com-
putation, for after the division between England and
Scotland the English portion measuring by Blaeu's
map from west to east from Sark to Esk is some
three and three-quarter miles, and in length by the
Esk to the Solway is some four and a quarter miles.
In the survey of 'the Debat cable 1 and Border Lands
adjoining the Realm of Scotland/ taken for James i.
in 1604, there is 'an Abreviate of the Survey of the
King's mat 8 lands, called the Debateable lands, in-
habited by the Grahams, belonginge to and lyinge
within ye Realme of Englande ; the w ch are bounded
by ye river of Sark on the west, the Scotishe dike on
the North (bothe wch are marches and bounders
betwixt ye 2 realms of Englande and Scotland), the
ryver of Eske upon the East, and an arme of the
sea upon ye South, wch is called Selwaie Sands.
The wch ground extendeth in circuit 21 miles, in
length 5, and in breadth neere 3 miles, and
conteyneth 7 '4 03 acres accordinge to Statute
Again, there is printed in Armstrong's History of
Liddesdale a very interesting document in which, by
the way, the extent is set down as ten miles by four,
entitled, ' A Rememberance of an order for the De-
batable Lannde, if the sayme shalbe thoght goode, to
the Prynce of bothe the reallmys of Inglande and
Scotlannde by the Wardans of the weste Marches of
Inglannde annde Scotlannde, withe the full advyse
and opeanyon of dyvers gentlemen Borderers off
bothe the sayde west marches, as the articullys off
the same insewethe' in 1537.
1 Additional MS., British Museum. See note p. 43 above
58 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
From this we learn that previously to the division
the custom had been for both Scots and English to
pasture their several cattle thereon 'for bytt off
mouthe betwene son and son/ viz. from sunrise to
set, and ' withe owtt a stobe or stake, 1 ' that is, with-
out setting up any residence therein.
But Scots and English alike had come ' to hold stob
and staik ' therein, and when they who were inclined
to England were molested by the Scots Warden the
English Warden naturally took upon himself their
protection. Thus, when Lord Maxwell threatened
to raze Sandie Armstrong's house with gunpowder,
Lord Dacre heaped peats and turfs within and
about it and set them on fire to prevent the other's
This ancient custom in regard to the disputed tract
is fully set out by the English Warden, Lord Dacre,
in his letter to the Scots Privy Council, 6th July
' My Lords there is a grounde called the Debatable
grounde, lyeing betwene the realme of England and
Scotland, wherein there is no strife for the boundes
of the same ; but it is wele knowne by the subjects
of bothe the realmes, and allweyes has been used and
accustumed to pasture upon the same grounde with
1 See Jamieson, Scottish Dictionary, 'Stob and staik to hold stob and
staik in any place, to have one's permanent residence there.'
THE DEBATABLE LAND 59
bit of mouthe, from the sonne rising to the sonne
setting, withal] manner of cattell, for the subjects of
bothe the realmes.
' And if any subject of ayther realme wilfully will
stub or stake, or kepe any cattell under cover of
night, it is and always has bene at the likkes of the
Wardenis, lieutenants and subjects of ayther realme,
fyndering them greved, to brenne, destroye, waiste,
take and drive awey all suche goods and cattell as
there shalbe founde so wilfully kept under cover of
'And if it fortune any of the subjects of ayther
realme soo wilfully keping there goodes and catells
under cover of night upon the same Debatable
grounde, shall not forfaite there goods taken upon
the daylight, as afore said, but it is leyful to brenne
the houses and to take the goods and catelles and
persons prisoners being within the house upon the
' And if the men and goodes got owt of the houses
upon the said Debatable grounde, they are fre, and
no forfaite made, but the howses to be brent, and the
goods within them to be forfaiete.
' And if it fortune any subjects of ayther realme to
carie awey any of the said houses, or any wodde, gres,
or corne growing upon the said Debatable grounde,
lyeing upon wanes, carts, or horse bakks, takin with
the cariage upon them, within the Debatable grounde,
is forfaiete to that subject that so arrests them. But
if so be that the cariage be out of the wane, carte or
60 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
horsebakks or the seisure be made, then there is no
Now as the English Warden insisted upon claiming
the land in question as English, and the Scots
Warden stoutly resisted the claim, a deadlock ensued.
' For neither will I,' wrote Lord Dacre in 1550 to the
Privy Council, 'suffer the Warden of Scotland to
answer for it, because I will not allow it to be
Scotland, nor will they on the contrary consent
that it shall be England.' Finally, when several
' Batablers,' such as Sandie Armstrong, and several of
the brethren and sons of Richard Greyme, and divers
others, had threatened to turn Scots unless England
would definitely ' aid them as occasion required ' ' a
loss to England and a continual source of disorder on
the marches ' a division of the ' variable ground '
was finally agreed to.
The following is the reference to this disputed
ground in the Leges Marchiarum, three years before
By the indenture of 1549 in the reign of
Edward vi. 'it was covenanted, concorded and con-
cluded, that the land variable, common of both the
People, called the Debateable ground, which lieth
between the west marches of England and Scotland,
shall be put and set in the same estate, and shall
THE DEBATABLE LAND 61
remain (inasmuch as belongeth to the use thereof),
even as it hath been accustomed to be, and was
before the beginning of the wars.
' So as the Lieges and Subjects of both the Realms,
now inhabiting or having houses upon the said
Debateable ground, may have power and liberty
(until the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel next
coming, after the date hereof) to dwell there, without
Prejudice of this Article, and to use and enjoy the
same, during such space of time they may to their
best Commodity remove themselves, their wives
and Children, goods and Cattel, and other their
things (every of them) into his own country ; unless
it be otherwise in the mean time, of the said Variable
Ground, by good ways and means agreed and con-
cluded between the Priners aforesaid. And, after
the said Feast, if any of either country of the said
, Inhabitants do in anything contrary to this Article,
then (by the Warden or his Deputy, without respect),
they shall be thrown out and duly punished therefore,
according to the Laws of Marche.
'Provided, that whosoever refuseth to obey the
Commandments of the Wardens of both Marches
aforesaid, and the Covenants taken by common
consent for the good rule thereof, that they occupy
not the Privileges of the small delay aforesaid.' 1
1 Leges Marchiarum.
62 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
Finally, then, it was agreed upon between the two
realms that there should be a division of the variable
ground between England and Scotland by the
Lord Wharton and Sir Thomas Challoner on the part
of the King of England, and Sir James Douglas of
Drumlangrig and Richard Maitland of Lethington
on the part of the Queen of Scotland.
These Commissioners, assisted by an envoy from
France, 'made their award Sept. 24th, 1552, setting
forth, that whereas the inhabitants of the western
part inclined more to be subjects of England, and
the inhabitants of the eastern part inclined more to
be subjects of Scotland, they therefore award the
western part of the said debateable land to the King
of England, and the eastern part thereof to the Queen
of Scotland ; to be divided by a line drawn across
from Esk to Sark and a square stone set up at each
end with the arms of England on the west thereof,
and the arms of Scotland on the east side.' 1
And thus the ' terra contentiosa ' of old time
' the sewer of abandoned men who, freed from the
fear of punishment or laws, lived by theft and spoil '
was divided for all time between England and Scotland
England obtaining the western portion or parish
of Kirkandrews and Scotland the eastern or parish of
1 History of Cumberland and Westmorland, vol. i. p. IxxxL
2 In sundry ' articles concerning the Monastery of Canonby holm in the
THE DEBATABLE LAND 63
The following quotation from Rymer's Foedera
will show with what care the delimitation was
' Ac ut melius et certius pars haec occidentalis ab
altera discernatur, conventum et conclusum est inter
nos commissaries et deputatos praefatos, ut in ipso
utrius partis discrimine, trames linearis rectus trans-
versim ab Esk ad Sark fluvium ducatur, fossa vel
sulco vestigium ipsius denotante; ac praeterea,
singulae pyramides lapide quadrato singulis ipsorum
Esk et Sark fluviorum ripis interius imponantur, in
ipsis potissimum (quoad ejus fieri potest) locorum
punctis construendae ac collocandae ubi linea seu
trames ille transversus hac iliac extendetur. Quos
quidem locos, quo planius dinoscantur, et si quo
vetustatis aut doli mali vitio pyramides corruerint,
nihilo secus locorum vestigia ad ipsarum reparationem
innotescant, in hunc modum hinc describendos puta-
vimus: Locus igitur pyramidi Esk Jluvii ripae im-
ponendae is esto, ubi Jluvii ipsius cursus sinuose
incurvatus est, ad campi ejusdem (vulgari sermone
vocati Dimmis. Daill) latus occidentale qua torrens
seu rivulus quidam vicinus (vernacule nuncupatus
Dimmis-daill syke) in fluvium jam dictum praecipitat.
North cuntre to prove yt to be Englishe and not Scottishe,' in 1531 the
prior is said to pay ' to the handes of the Captain of the Castell of Carlill '
xiiis. ivd. This, the English insisted, was rent, but the Scots replied that
it was ' for custome of the inhabitants within Cannonby.' See Armstrong,
Liddcsdalc, p. xxxii.
64 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
' Similiter, pyramidi SarJc fluvii quae imponetur
ripae is esto locus, qui clivo rubro situs est, e regione
loci vocati Kirkrigg in Scotia paulum supra le
Eatgyw. ubi vicissim Sark fluvii alveolus in sinus
Upon these pyramids the arms or badges of the
said sovereigns were to be sculptured ; ' ita scilicet,
ut quod latus utriusque pyramidis quod occidentem
spectat, dicti serenissimi Angliae regis insigniatur
armis, quodque orientem respicit praefatae illustris-
simae reginae Scotiae armis condecoretur : atque in
hunc modum honori principum bene de patria
meritorum, turn etiam commodo rudioris populi, quo
melius ex istis signis divisionis hujus discrimina
percipiant, consultum esto.'
It might be mentioned in this connection that
there were along the Border certain small 'threap
lands/ ' debateable,' or disputed tracts, which seem
to have remained doubtful even up to the time of the
Ordnance Survey. Thus from Phillips's memorandum
quoted above, we learn that there were in the East
March 'three parcels' of ground in dispute, as, for
example, ' the mid rigg [of 100 acres] lying nere
to the cornefeldes of Warke and Carram quietlie
occupied and plowed by the tenantes of Carram till
Flodden Feld, at what time the decay of the Castle
of Warke caused the decaye of the towns of Carram
THE DEBATABLE LAND 65
and Warke, so as it lay unplowed but occupied as
pasture by the tenantes of the said townes till anno
30 of Henry vm. that they did sow it with otes,
which the Wardens of the East and Middle marches
of Scotland by theyr Kinges commandment, as the
Scots affirme, with a great power destroyed, challeng-
ing the same ground to be in plea between the realmes
and therefore to be pastured uppon by both, as it
hath continued ever since.'
And again, there seems also to have been a de-
batable ' Fish garth ' on the Esk, which is specially
mentioned in sundry treaties of Henry vii. and
vm. , and set on one side or exempted as a source
of quarrel between England and Scotland.
' Si rumpat vel distruat eundem, pro non attemptato
reputabitur, et nihilominus alia attemptata quae-
cumque reparabuntur sic quod Eeparatio aut Des-
tructio dictae le Fisshe garthe non impediet Re-
formationem aliorum attemptatorum nee introducet
Ruptionem praesentis Pacis seu con federations. '
66 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
'THE TREATIES, TRUCES, LAWS AND CUSTOMS OF
THE BORDERS '
'Now, in the legends of Mabel, the Scottish nation was ever freshly
remembered, with all the embittered declamation of which the narrator
' The inhabitants of the opposite frontier served in her narratives to fill
up the parts which ogres and giants with seven-leagued boots occupy in
the ordinary nursery tales.
' And how could it be otherwise 1
' Was it not the Black Douglas who slew with his own hand the heir of
the Osbaldistone family the day after he took possession of his estate, sur-
prising him and his vassals while solemnising a feast suited to the occasion ?
' Was it not Wat the Devil who drove off all the year-old hogs off the
braes of Lanthorn side, in the very recent days of my grandfather's father ? '
SIR WALTER SCOTT, Eob Boy.
IN Bishop Nicholson's Collection of Leges Marchi-
arum the first statutes given are those said to be
drawn up by twelve English knights and twelve
Scots knights in the reign of Henry in., 1249,
presided over by the Sheriff of Northumberland
and the Sheriffs of Berwick and Roxburgh re-
The first name on the English side is that of
Robertus de Clifford, but as Robertus de Clifford
TREATIES, TRUCES 67
was not born till 1273, Burn and Nicholson conclude
from this and other internal evidence, as, for example,
the absence of the names of either king, that it is a
manifest Scots forgery, the occasion of which might
lie in the destruction of all the Scottish records by
Edward i., and the consequent desire to create a
document to prove their country's independence at
a time when it was denied by England. It should
be noted, however, that the editor of the Acts of the
Parliament of Scotland writes as follows in his
preface (vol. i. p. 43, red ink numerals) concerning
the Act :
' It is here printed without alteration from the Berne
MS., a nearly contemporary authority. It is found
in many of the law manuscripts, and forms the first
of a curious collection of Border Papers in the State
' The copies used by Bishop Nicholson must have
been very faulty.'
The Act itself is headed as follows :
'The year of grace 1249 gadderit togidder at the
Merchis the Shereff of Northumberland for kingis'
party of ingland and the Sherefs of Berwick,
Roxburgh and Edinburgh on the kingis' party of
Scotland for to know the lawis and the customs of
the merchis be xii knychtis of ingland and 12
knychtis of Scotland.'
68 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
And further, Dr. Neilson writes thus to the
' For my part I take the confusion of witnesses
with a light heart. The imputation of forgery is at
the very worst only an extreme form of saying that
the witnesses are not easily possible at any one time,
but this is no unusual thing : a conflate text is often
found in the Middle Ages and witnesses get run
together when there is no doubt that the actual
document itself is genuine and beyond challenge.
So for my part I take the confusion of witnesses to
the Leges with a light heart.'
We now give a translation of these first Border
Statutes as printed by Bishop Nicholson in his Leges
' In the year of grace one thousand two hundred
and forty-nine on the festival of Saints Tiburtius and
Valerianus there came to the marches for the purpose
of founding and observing the Laws of the Marches
the Sheriff of Northumberland on the part of the
Lord the King of England and on the part of the
Lord the King of Scotland the Sheriffs of Berwick
and Roxborough that the laws and customs of the
marches might be acknowledged by twelve knights
of England and twelve of Scotland under firm
ROBERTUS DE CLIFFORD.
ROBERTUS FILIUS RADULPHI.
ROBERTUS DE ULFESTER.
WlLLIELMUS DE BuRNVILE.
WlLLIELMUS DE ScREMERSTON.
WlLLIELMUS DE HfiRINGTON.
ROBERTUS DE GLENDALE.
SAMPSON DE COUPLAND.
WlLLIELMUS DE COOKPERTE.
HENRICUS FILIUS GODFRIDI.
ADAM DE EARTH.
RADULFUS DE BOUKLE.
WlLLIELMUS DE NoRTHIN-
Mayor de Berwick.
ADAM DE NORHAM.
HENRICUS FILIUS WALDEN.
HENRICUS DE BRADE.
ROBERTUS DE DURHAM.
AYMERUS DE ELMSLEY.
ADAM DE NEWBIGGINN.
Here follow the statutes of the said four and
twenty knights. (To make up the number of twenty-
four knights one must suppose that the Sheriff of
Northumberland and the Sheriff of Berwick or
Roxburgh also swore.)
* Firstly, all of these twenty-four asserted together,
that if any evil-doer dwelling in Scotland, whether
man or woman, whether a feudal tenant or not, shall
have been guilty of homicide or any other offence
whereby debate or contest may arise, he shall be
tried therefore only on the march of either realm.
' If the defendant dwell beyond Rede he shall be
tried at Ridingeburn. 1 Redesdale and Coquetdale
must be tried at Campaspeth according to the laws
and customs in use between the two realms.
1 The Reddanburn, which flows into Tweed from the south beyond
Carham, and some six miles west of Coldstream. ' Gammel's path ' (the
old path, cp. Danish gammel), as marked on the Ordnance Survey, is the track
of the old Roman road that led up from Bremenium (High Rochester) Camp
to Ad Fines Camp (Chew green), at the head of Coquet.
70 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
' Secondly, they asserted that all men between
Totnais (Totness) in England and Caithness in Scot-
land can rightly according to the customs of the said
realms be called to the Marches for combat, with the
exception of the persons of the Kings of the said realms
and of the Bishops of Saint Andrew and Dunkeld. 1
' Thirdly, they asserted unanimously that if any one
whether vassal or bondsman of Scotland shall have
fled within the realm of England, with or without
his cattle, wishing thus to escape from his Lord, he
must be brought back to Scotland if he is prosecuted
within forty days after crossing the Marches by his
lord or bailiff without any hindrance on the part
of England on oath given, and, conversely, the like to
hold good of an English fugitive.
' But if the lord prosecute not within forty days he
shall never recover his man except by warrant from
the King in whose realm he has sought refuge.
'And if after forty days he is found within the
realm which he left he may be taken, unless he is a
bondsman, 2 by his lord on the oath of six men in
addition to his lord's.
'Fourthly, they asserted, that if any native 3 of
1 The Acts of Parliament of Scotland, vol. i. p. 414, etc., give ' Donel-
mensis' and ' Duresme,' sections 2 and 5.
2 Nisi fuerit nativus. The Rev. G. Ridpath, commenting on this in his
Border History, suggests that in the case of a bondsman his lord's oath was
3 Natvovs, translated here as ' native.'
TREATIES, TRUCES 71
England or Scotland shall be accused of debt he shall
provide a pledge for forty-five days by means of
inbrocht wood and utbrocht wood 1 (sureties of his own,
and the other, realm), and they shall redeem the
debt within the next fifteen days. And if by then
the debtor shall not have paid this off his pledge may
be taken and held until full satisfaction shall have
been given for his debt.
' But if he denies the debt he shall clear himself at
the Marches within fifteen days by the oath of seven
men, his own included. And the same, if the debtor
shall make default, holds good in regard to the
' If he acknowledges his debt and has no goods
wherewith to pay he shall purge himself by his oath
on the ground that he has no more in goods than five
shillings and fourpence, and further shall swear that
he will pay his debt as soon as he shall save or obtain
the amount, his food alone being immune.
' Fifthly, they asserted that all accusers on either
side shall swear for themselves, except only the two
kings and their heirs, and the Bishops of Saint
Andrews and Dunkeld.
' For the King of England, his standard-bearer and
his constable shall swear. In the same way for the
King of Scotland and the Lord Bishop of Saint
1 Wood = wed (vadium), a pledge.
72 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
Andrews the presbyter of Weddle shall swear, 1
and for the Lord Bishop of Dunkeld the Prior of
' Sixthly r , they asserted that no one can act by
attorney in making oath at the Marches in a quarrel
wherein life and limbs are involved save only with the
consent of either party. The two kings and bishops
only being excepted, as above said. Default will
invalidate the cause forever whether for prosecutor
' Seventhly, they asserted that if a quarrel takes
place on the Marches between the two countries and
this between a prosecutor and defendant on a matter
of life and limb, then, supposing that the defendant
shall have died within fifteen days, within the
statutory time, his body shall be brought to the
Marches at the day and place within the appointed
parts, since no man can be essoigned by death. 2
1 Wedhall or Wedale. He was the bishop's vicar in that parish, so the
Rev. H. A. Wilson of Oxford kindly informs me, also that the Insula (isle)
mentioned was probably Inchcolm, which was a priory till 1235 or later,
and had a close connection with the early Bishops of Dunkeld. Ridpath in
his History suggests Lochleven.
2 Even so late as 1597 we hear of a pledge's body being brought though
a corpse to the march.
In Sir William Bowes's ' Declaration from Barwicke, Oct. 9, 1597,' it is
stated that at the meeting of the Commissioners of both realms for delivery
of pledges at the next ford near Norham, ' Sir William pressed their receipt
of the Englishe pledges all there presente, though one of the number were
dead, yet was he brought and presented to the place.' See Calendar of
Border Papers, vol. ii.
TREATIES, TRUCES 73
'And if the prosecutor delaying shall not have
appeared at the same appointed time, the defendant
must make his way to the Marches and must take
the pledge of Wardsheill 1 (trial by combat, hand-
1 MANUM DE WARDSHIELL (PLEDGE OF WARDSHIELL).
So the passage runs in Bishop Nicholson's Leges Marchiarum, but in
the Acts of the Parliament of Scotland (see vol. i. p. 414, red ink numerals,
Record Edition), these words are given : ' Debet accipe-handwarsil de
tribus baronibus ' ; and opposite them this translation : ' And the appellour
cum nocht to the merchis at the day set the party dependant sail gang
to the merchis and tak thair 3 borowis [sureties] that is to wit 3 men
witnessing that he then sufficientlie at day set apperit and that provit be
thame of that clarne he sail gang quite for evermair.'
Thus ' Wardshiell ' or 'handwarsil' seems to mean wager of battle
' (cp. the Border word warsil warsell still in use), and the plain meaning
seems to be that the defendant having attended at the fighting ground and
finding the appellant not there should be quit of the claim against him for
ever after if he took three witnesses of his due presence there.
Furthermore, as Dr. Neilson points out in his Trial by Combat, ' If any
of these witnesses proved a backslider by refusing his evidence afterwards,
if the last claim happened to be renewed, the person aggrieved might bring
defective memory to task by fighting any one of the witnesses, or, if need
be, all the 3.'
There is a further reference to this term Handwarsil or ' Handwarcel '
mentioned in the case of one Henry Scot in the Calendar of Documents
relating to Scotland (vol. ii. p. 59), and is there indexed as Handwarcelle, a
March custom in Cumberland after a robbery. This document was so much
mutilated that it was difficult to make out the real procedure involved, for
it appears from one passage that the appellant might, if he liked, pursue
the robber at common law.
On this occasion it was the king himself who, desiring to have justice
done in the case of tins Henry Scot (who had professed, and was ready to
place himself on the country and to purge his innocence), commanded
' the Sheriff to keep the matter in statu quo till his next arrival in these
parts, and then to assemble a jury of the county to enquire into the law
and custom of the March.'
An Inquisition was held at Carlisle in the eighth year of Edward i. before
certain knights, the mayor and sundry citizens, 'who say, respecting the
laws and customs in use in Cumberland, that from a time whereof no
memory exists, if any robber in the kingdom of . . ., he must quickly
within the day or night after the robbery, according to the distance of the
74 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
warsil), from three Barons to testify that he has
properly appeared on his day. And this being
approved by them he shall be forever freed from that
charge. And if by chance any one of the three refuse
to testify he may have a combat. The same rule
applies to the prosecutor.
'Eighthly, they asserted, that if any Scots thief
shall have stolen a horse in England, or oxen, or cows
or anything else and leads the same away into Scot-
land the owner, in whatsoever place he finds his gear,
shall recover it in the Court of the Feudal Lordship
where he has found his gear.
' And this he shall recover in the aforesaid Court by
the oath of six men his own making the seventh
unless it chance that he who retains the gear says it
place where committed [go to ?] Brunscaythe on the English side, and to
Rocheland on the Scottish side, and there publish to them the robbery
committed on him, and have his evidence. . . .
' And if he finds him within 40 days, he must sue him according to the
law and custom of the March, as follows : a writ from the Sheriff of
Cumberland to the King of Scotland's Sheriff of Dumfries, that he let him
have " Handwarcelle " regarding the robbery (?). . ., that he answer to him
on whom the robbery was committed, and defend himself by his hand.'
Part of another section runs, ' And he who is of the English realm shall
have a lance, a sword, and a targe, if he wishes.'
This would correspond with the ordinary law of England at that time.
See Forsy th, 206, who says, ' In the time of Bracton (middle of the thirteenth
century), the usual mode of determining innocence or guilt was by combat
or appeal. But in most cases the appellant had the option of either fight-
ing with his adversary or putting himself on his country for trial' The
exceptions being murder by secret poisoning, and certain circumstances
presumed by the law to be conclusive of guilt. See article, 'Jury,' in
vol. xv., Encyclopcedia Britannica, Cambridge Edition.
TREATIES, TRUCES 75
is his own, in which case a contest may issue on the
' Ninethly, they asserted that if any one shall be
indicted whether Scots or English for life and
limbs at the Marches on a charge of robbery, theft or
homicide, the pledges if the defendant is worsted in
contest shall not be responsible for more than the
amount set forth by the prosecutor in his claim.
' Tenthly, they asserted, that if any evil-doer, who
has entered into any part of the other realm, shall
there wish to have peace he shall have it from those
who can give it, namely, from the High Sheriff, and
if by chance he cannot find the High Sheriff, he can
receive peace at the first church the bells being rung
and there he shall be in peace until he shall have
peace through the High Sheriff. And if before he
has peace he is apprehended he shall be led off
without any hindrance.
'Eleventhly, they asserted, that if any one shall claim
any mare, ox, cow or pig, or any other animal in
either England or Scotland, as his own he shall have
the benefit of all the delays agreed upon between the
realms and the full term of days in the cause. If he
shall wish to come off without fighting, and finds that
the gear is not his own, he shall on the appointed day
drive it back to the Marches, and send word to the
party against whom he claimed the gear that the
76 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
horse is his and shall drive it into the water of Tweed
or Esk. 1
' And the defendant shall be quit of that claim or
charge. If the animal is drowned before it has
crossed the stream of water (mid-stream) he shall be
responsible for it according to March custom, and the
same holds good of an ox, cow or pig or anything else,
save baggage, of which there is no mention.
' Twelfthly, they asserted, that no Englishman can
test an accused Scot by means of witnesses the
converse also holding good save only by the body of
a man, and thus many 2 contests can arise in the
disputes that have occurred or are likely to occur
between the marches.
' Thirteenthly , it must be known that if any one
happens to be in the realm of England or Scotland,
or conversely, according to the Laws of the Marches,
who claims a debt in the other kingdom where he
remains, he must advise the clerics, if it is a cleric
who is in his debt, the knights, if it is a knight, the
burgesses, if it is a burgess, and by them the case
must be decided and not by others.
'Further, they agreed, that Inburghe and Out-
burghe (magistrates within and without burghs) shall
1 The Esk was then the boundary line. The ' Debatable Land ' came
into being later owing to English encroachments or invasions.
2 Nulla in text, but this makes nonsense. Read instead from other
TREATIES, TRUCES 77
have power to distrain either country so that the
above-mentioned customs may be inviolately observed
between the two realms.'
From Article 8 in the foregoing list of laws, it is
plain that no Warden Courts can have existed at this
time, for the pursuer has to recover his goods in the
court of the fee in which he finds them. There is
here no assize or jury as in the later laws to ' foul'
or ' clear ' the bills ; the method of justice is as simple
as possible, proceeding by oaths and ordeal of battle.
Indeed, the whole procedure derives from an earlier
epoch than that of the earliest Lord Wardens ; mark
the ancient methods of compurgation (per sacra-
mentum sex virorum et se septimo), the sureties or
pledges, the disallowing of witnesses, and the final
appeal to the sword, which decides the cause by the
success or defeat of the defendant in single combat 1
(duellum). As Dr. Neilson points out in his Trial by
Combat, it was ' a root principle of March law that
there could be no proof by witnesses there could
only be probation by the body of a man.'
1 Trial by combat was not formally abolished in England till 1819.
In the previous year a defendant, one Abraham Thornton, accused of
manslaughter, claimed to defend his cause ' by his body,' and threw down
a gauntlet in accordance with the centuries-old duel of law. In the event
the appeal was withdrawn, Thornton was set free, and the ancient law
78 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
TRIAL BY COMBAT, OB, THE SWORD AS JUDGE
' The Sword
The voice of the Sword from the heart of the Sword
As from the starry-staired
Courts of the primal Supremacy,
Her high irresistible song.'
W. E. HENLEY.
The ancient procedure disclosed by this earliest ' Law
of the Marches ' is then of the greatest interest, as
well from the historic as from the romantic point of
view. Since from the earliest times, according to the
inquest held by Cressingham at Carlisle in 1292, this
duellum or trial by combat on the Border had had to
decide the issue on matters touching life and limb
between Englishmen and Scotsmen.
None might escape this ordeal if accused none
save the Kings of England and Scotland, and their
heirs, and the Bishops of St. Andrews and Dunkeld
or Durham and at the four march forums or battle
grounds of Camisford, 1 opposite Norham on the East
Marches ; Redam, or the Riding burn, that runs into
Tweed a mile or more west of Carham, for the Middle
Marches; Gammelspath [viz. the height of Watling
1 Identified by Dr. Neilson with a ford opposite to Norham. Hamisford
is an alternative reading, and Dr. Neilson gives as reference, p. 243,
Twysdem's Decem Scriptores (sub anno 1121), 'Ranulphus Dunelmensis
episcopus castellum apud Northam incepit, super ripam Twedar, in loco qui
TRIAL BY COMBAT 79
Street above Ad Fines Camp] for Coquetdale and
Redesdale, and Sulwath or ' Sol way ' * for the Western
Marches, the fight between the appellant and defend-
ant of the different nations was bound to take place.
No proof, said the stern Border customs, can be
admitted by an Englishman against a Scot, or by a
Scot against an Englishman, ' save only by the body of
a man,' nisi tantummodo per corpus hominis ; whence,
continues the same terse code, it is that many combats
take place out of the various disputes that arise upon
the Border. Even when, as in the case of sundry
shivering ecclesiastics appealed by the opposite side,
the defendant preferred to be represented by a
champion, he was liable to be beheaded in the event
of his champion's defeat, as happened indeed to the
unfortunate Prior of Lideley, 2 who presumably must
have failed to obtain sureties for the claim made
1 Bishop Nicholson's Lex gives only two meeting-places, but the Acts of
Parliament of Scotland give four, as above stated. As to the battle ground
of Sulwath (the act says ' the Sheriffs of Carlisle and Cumberland must
answer at Sulwath apud Sulewath' which Dr. Neilson, with great
learning and research, identifies with the Lochmabenstone beside Solway,
near to Gretna Green), see his Annals of the Solway (Maclehose. Glasgow).
Therein he seems to have established his contention that Solway meant
originally the ' muddy ford ' over Esk, at that time the boundary between
England and Scotland. Fordun styles it 'Scotiswath sive Sulwath'
Solway being a comparatively late term.
2 See Ridpath's History of the Border, p. 98, for a remonstrance of
the clergy of England, presented to the Legate Otho in 1237,
for procuring redress from the king of several encroachments on their
80 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
Idealising the past, one might imagine the youthful
champion like a ruddy-cheeked David, ever triumphant
over the oppressor upon the windy heath of Gammels-
path, under the shadow of Thirlmoor, overlooking the
old Roman Camp of Ad Fines, but in stern reality
the brutal Bonthron or fearnowt Armstrong would
usually be victor, even though his cause was based
upon guile, avarice, or lust of revenge.
1 His strength is as the strength of ten
Because his heart is pure,'
sang Lord Tennyson in his Idylls, but ' the Song of
the Sword' of another poet more justly based the
' Court of the primal Supremacy ' upon the stark
strength of the sword-bearer.
' Glittering and keen
As the song of the winter stars,
Ho ! then the sound
Of my voice, the implacable
Angel of Destiny !
I am the Sword.'
The sword then in these early days decided the
law plea before the grim Borderers in the Areopagus
of the moorland, and in the event of defeat the
vanquished must endure loss of goods, fame, and
sometimes life itself.
We return, however, to the unfortunate Prior of
Lideley, who, as we surmised above, must have been
unable to obtain sureties or pledges, for only in that
TRIAL BY COMBAT 81
event, and a subsequent conviction by duel, would he
be liable to be handed over to his accusers ' to do
justice concerning him at their will' liberaretur
quaerenti jfaciendo de ipso voluntatem suam. 1
Now, as is clear from the case of Henry Scot 2 and
John of Wyncheles, an accuser had only to make a
preposterous claim for damages to debar the defendant
from obtaining sureties.
This evidently gave a swash-buckler, or ' a man of
Belial, swollen with food and wine,' an unfair
advantage, and it was this custom that Edward I.
'repudiated' ('reprobavit '), about 1280. For the
defendant seemingly, if appealed, was bound to
fight to take handwarcel but he had also to find
security et nichilominus inveniret securitatem quae-
renti de dampnis praedictis 2 and if he could not,
then the accuser had his will with him. The
1 ' Henry Scot had bought a horse at the fair of Carlisle, and he com-
plained to the Sheriff of Cumberland that John of Wyncheles had appealed
him of theft by law of March, according to which Henry, if unable to find
securities to pay John whatever he claimed as damages, even if it were
.1000, must undergo judgment as lawfully convicted. An inquiry was
ordered, and the inquest declared that there had been a custom from a time
whereof no memory existed, that a Scotch robber must be sued within 40
days, and that this pursuer was entitled to Handwarcel with spear and
sword and targe. The Kecord of the inquest is somewhat mutilated, but its
fragments suffice to make it clear that the juries of 1292 accurately stated
what had been the law before 1280, that an accuser who could find no
securities was liable to be handed over to his accusers to do justice con-
cerning him at their will.' (Neilson, Trial by Combat, p. 130.)
2 Historical Documents relating to Scotland (Stevenson), vol. i. p. 357 :
'Extracts from the Eoll of the Justices Itinerant in the Courts of
Cumberland, having reference to the affairs of Scotland.'
82 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
passages referring to the matter are very obscure,
but Edward i. seemingly must have reduced the
amount of security demanded to the actual value of
A SHORT SUMMARY OF THE BORDER LAWS
We give now a short summary of the Border Laws
which follow in Bishop Nicholson's collection of the
year and reign as under :
1449. 1 Henry vi. 1464. 1 Edward iv.
1533. 1 Henry vra. 1549. Edward vi.
1553. Queen Mary. 1563.]
\ Queen Elizabeth.
These early indentures l are, in the first instance,
Truces and Abstinences from War between the Kings
of England and Scotland, and the chief officers re-
sponsible are termed Conservators of the Truce, with
whom are joined various knights and all the Admirals
of the Sea and Wardens of the Marches. In the in-
denture of 1449 the Conservators ' ordain and conclude
1 These are all written in mediaeval Latin : the text is very corrupt,
sometimes impossible of construction, and very full of repetition, so that
instead of attempting to translate them in full the present writer thought
it better to give a few notes of the most interesting articles in these
treaties on ' Border Laws.'
The remaining ' Border Laws ' are in English, and are printed in Bishop
Nicholson's Leges Marchiarum. (London, 1705.)
THE BORDER LAWS 83
that all and every one of the Wardens of the Marches
on either side, whether present or future, as well as
all the notable men in the said Marches from the town
of Newcastle-on-Tyne and Penrith in England on the
one side, and on the other the inhabitants of the
Marches from the towns of Edinburgh and Dumfries
in Scotland towards England shall swear for them-
selves, and all of them on the Holy Evangel of God
in front of them corporeally touching it that they
will observe the said truce in all and singular its
articles, without any deceit, fraud, or evil intention,
and will cause others to observe the same as far as in
That the Wardens had not yet acquired the full
powers they enjoyed later, and that their * Days of
Truce ' or March Days on the Border line, with their
jurisdiction and assize, were not at this time estab-
lished, is proved by sundry of the sections of this
indenture. No. 12 runs as follows :
1449 A.D. ' It has been agreed that if any one on
the one side or the other, whilst the Truce lasts, take
any fortalice from the other the aggrieved possessor
may recover it by use of force or otherwise as best he
can, and the evil-doers shall be punished as the case
' And the Conservators of that part whose subject
has taken the fortalice shall be bound to succour and
84 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
assist him whose fortalice has been taken and to make
it good to him at the expense of the offending party
as quickly and conveniently and diligently as possible ;
or if the offended party prefer it he may inform the
King and Conservators of the other part or their
deputies to cause the said fortalice to be restored to
him, which they shall be bound to do and carry out to
their power, without deceit, fraud or evil intention.'
Again, section 13 deals with malefactors guilty of
wrong-doing in the opposite realm. They are to be
punished, if caught, according to the laws of the land
wherein they have offended.
If they escape, the Conservators of the other realm
must attach them, if so requested, and hand them
over to the other realm for punishment.
' If they cannot be apprehended then the King
whose subjects they are must banish them with
sound of trumpet at once and forever from his
dominions, unless and until they have fully satisfied
the offended party for their transgressions or attempts
There is here no mention of the Wardens' court or
jury to assess the damages, ' the double and sawfey '
of which we hear so much later on. The malefactor
is to be banished, if not caught, and the Conservators
are to make good his misdeeds out of his goods so
far as they will suffice. If he is caught and has not
THE BORDER LAWS 85
enough goods to make satisfaction, he is to be more
severely punished and pay in his body. Any one re-
setting, counselling, or favouring the evil-doer is to be
held responsible for the other's misdeeds.
Shipwreck. Sundry sections of the indenture deal
with the protection of seamen who may be ship-
wrecked, or, driven by stress of weather, put into
ports of the other realm. They assign punishment
to those who offend against them or rob their ships.
The various Admirals of either realm are with the
Wardens conjointly named as Conservators of the
Truce with the Commissioners. They doubtless dealt
with fugitives by sea, sea- robbing and shipwreck of
ships and sailors.
Clauses 5, 6, 7, 8 run as follows :
(5) 'Also, it has been arranged and concluded
between ourselves and the said Ambassadors, that if
during the duration of the Truce or abstinence from
warfare, it happens that any subjects or vassals of
the said most excellent Prince, King of England and
France as they sail by sea on any just, reasonable or
lawful cause whether as merchants, pilgrims, fishers
or otherwise under stress of wind or storm, or any
other just, reasonable, necessary and urgent cause,
though they did not wish it nor had proposed it at
the time of their leaving home should put in at any
port or other place of the realm of Scotland, or suffer
86 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
shipwreck in any other place in the same kingdom,
while any person remains alive in the shipwrecked
ship. In this event it shall not be lawful to the
most excellent Prince, King of Scots, his cousin, or
any one of his subjects or vassals, either by himself
or others, to seize or take away from these ship-
wrecked or storm-beaten men their ships, goods or
merchandise, or to take away anything from them,
or detain, or by 'reason of the debt of any one to arrest
them, or cause to be arrested in whole or in part ;
but it shall be lawful to these shipwrecked or storm-
beaten men, thus detained by the repair of their
ships the reason of their detention having ceased
to depart with their ships, merchandise, goods and
gear, as quickly as conveniently they can without any
question, hindrance, arrest or action being made or
brought against them by the said most illustrious
Prince, the King of Scots, or any subject or subjects
(6) ' And in like manner,' etc. : viz. exactly the
same provisions are to be applied in the case of ship-
wrecked subjects of the King of Scotland.
(7) ' Also, it has been arranged and concluded by
our aforesaid Commissioners on either side, that if
any one or more of the subjects of the most dread
King of England and France, as is above said, chances
to be driven ashore or shipwrecked, or to come into
THE BORDER LAWS 87
the realm of Scotland under safe-conduct before the
date of its expiration, or is so harassed by ill health
that he cannot being thus driven ashore, or coming
under safe-conduct in his ship which has put into
shore, or coming in before the date of expiry of his
safe-conduct conveniently depart and go to his own
land, then he shall have liberty, being ill, or driven
ashore or wrecked on his voyage, to stay in safety
wherever he may have been driven or shipwrecked
until he shall have recovered, and thereafter with
letters of testimony from the Mayor, or Bailiff,
Constable, or any other officer of the Lord the King in
the place wherein he shall happen to be invalid the
cause of his illness abating to depart on moderate
charges, to his own country without any impediment
or obstacle whatsoever, from any of the subjects or
vassals of the Lord, the King of Scots.
' On the understanding that he shall not attempt,
nor cause to be attempted, anything prejudicial
against the King, his realm, or his subjects.'
(8) All of the above provisos to hold equally good
in the case of Scots in the like case. There are also
further clauses dealing with shipwrecked goods, loss
of gear and robbing of the same by subjects of either
realm or by foreigners.
The question of those who travel in the opposite
realm under safe-conduct is also dealt with.
88 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
Two letters of safe-conduct are to be made out
under the Great Seal of either kingdom, the English
safe-conduct to remain in some convenient place on
the Scottish Border, the Scots letter similarly to
remain on the English Border, either for the use of
the subjects of their several realm who seek for
justice for offences done them, but not more than
three or four together may use it at one time.
An injured individual, however, may follow his
aggressor into the opposite realm without any safe-
conduct, if he does so within six days. This, by the
way, is the ' cold trod,' as the phrase went, as opposed
to * hot trod,' viz. immediate pursuit ' with hue and
cry and horn and hound/ that was allowed even up
to the union of the two crowns. The aggrieved in-
dividual is also permitted, if he prefers it, to approach
one of the Wardens of the opposite realm or his
deputy within six days for obtaining justice. Again,
by virtue of the letters of safe-conduct, an aggrieved
individual may at any time, while the truce lasts,
enter the opposite realm and prosecute his cause
under any competent judge l therein.
1 This is further defined in another treaty sealed by the Commissioners in
the Church of St. Nicholas in Newcastle, 14th August 1451. (Rymer,
Foedera, vol. xi. p. 360.)
'Competent judge' was declared to be 'the Warden of that march
where the delinquent resided : and if the person complained of has not
his residence within the limits of either march, or could not be found
within the limits of that where he actually resided, or was wont to reside,
THE BORDER LAWS 89
Hunting, fishing, fowling or taking their pleasure
in the opposite realm is forbidden without leave, first
obtained from the proprietors, the * Hunting of
the Cheviot ' being always a favourite pastime of the
Scots. As for cattle depasturing in the other realm,
the injured individual must not take the law into his
own hands, but will have justice done him according
to the law and custom of his own realm.
Fugitives from justice, becoming ' liegemen ' of the
other realm, must answer before the Conservators of
the Truce on the opposite side for their misdeeds.
Other fugitives are to be handed over whence they
In concluding, the indenture gives full power to
the Wardens and Admirals in their respective spheres
to reform and make good all losses and felonies, etc.,
committed in defiance of the truce, and to punish all
evil-doers as they deserve. In default of justice,
either prince can appeal to the other by herald, who
should send at least once a year two or three of his
Council to the marches, not alone to punish the trans-
gressors, but also to examine if the Conservators of
the plaintiff might, in that case, present a bill or schedule of his complaint
to the Warden, who should with all convenient speed transmit the bill,
together with the plaintiff, if the latter desired it, furnished with letters of
attestation and safe-conduct, to be delivered without fee or reward, to the
Chancellor of the Kingdom of which the party complained of was a subject :
whereupon the Chancellor should summon the party accused, and with all
possible despatch administer justice to the plaintiff.'
90 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
the Truce, the Wardens, or their deputies have been
remiss in the execution of justice.
These Truces, Abstinences from War and Border
Laws were to be proclaimed at the chief places along
the Border, and occasionally throughout England, as
may be seen in an injunction given in Bymer, 14
Ed. iv. (1474), ' de Treugis Scotiae proclamandis/
In this case thirty-three counties, cities and towns
are mentioned ranging from Northumberland to
Calais where the proclamations are to be made.
Usually, however, publication and notification were
to be made by the Wardens ' in omnibus et singulis
insignioribus locis Marcharium suarum tarn in regno
Scotiae quam Angliae publice et solen niter,' beginning,
for example, at Coldstream, then next day at Norham,
and so on as continuously and expeditiously as possible
within the following eight days.
Or again, the places where publication is to be
made is left to the Wardens' judgment, as in the
truce of 1487, where the actual words are set forth
in Bymer as follows :
' Captis et conclusis Treugis et Abstinentiis hujus
modi fiant Proclamationes publice tarn in Confiniis
utriusque Regni per terram quam in Portubus maris
et in aliis Locis ubi expediens videbitur pro firma et
inviolabili Observatione earundem sub Poena incum-
THE BORDER LAWS 91
In 1464 an indenture made between Edward iv.
and James in. provides for peace between the realms
for fifteen years, and therein the King of Scots binds
himself not to ' give, afford sanction or allow his
subjects to give countenance or favour to Henry,
lately styling himself King of England, or to his wife,
Margaret, or to Edward his son.'
Neither prince may issue a safe-conduct to a traitor
or rebel of the other.
The provisions as to shipwreck and distressed
seamen are nearly the same as before.
No impediment, on either side, to be given to
ships sailing, and compelling to strike sail is
Buying of wool for export into this realm forbidden.
James Douglas is expressly comprehended in this
truce on the part of the King of England as well
as others born in Scotland who before the day of
these presents have become lieges of the crown of
The truce does not apply to the dominion of (Lorn)
Lome in Scotland nor to (London) Lundy Island in
England ' the said dominion and island not being
regarded as comprehended in this truce.'
The oath to be taken as in the former indenture.
There is an indenture of the weirdest grammar
conceivable to be found in Rymer (not included in
92 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
the Leges Marchiarum) under date 1473, viz. in the
reign of Edward iv. of England and James in. of
Scotland, which deals more particularly with the
place of the Wardens' meetings and also prescribes
the number that shall attend upon the Wardens at
these meetings (viz. 2000), their lieutenants (500),
the deputies (200).
It is further ordered that the slayer of an English-
man on Scottish ground, or the slayer of a Scot on
English ground, is to be handed over on request made
within fifteen days to the party complaining, to be
'justified or ransomed according to his will.'
If the slayer be fugitive then he is to be ' put to
the King's horn/ viz. proclaimed a rebel, and any one
' resetting ' (receiving) him is to incur the same
penalty as the homicide himself would have done if
he had been captured.
The indenture of 1533 in the Leges Marchiarum
is to establish ' peace, friendship, league and alliance '
between Henry vin. and James v. during their life
and for one whole year after the death of the first to
die, but there must not be any derogation from any
of the ancient and pristine treaties on either side
with the Most Christian King of France.
Homicides, thieves, robbers, fugitives are to be
handed over within ten days of the receipt of a
request from either prince.
THE BORDER LAWS 93
The granting of safe-conducts to be left to the
discretion of the prince.
Homicides of Scots in England or of Englishmen in
Scotland are to be apprehended by the Wardens of
either march, to be brought to an appointed diet of
the Wardens, and, if convicted, to be handed over to
the opposite Warden.
1549. Murderers of the subjects of the opposite
realm are to be apprehended by the Wardens, brought
to the ' Day of Trews/ and there if convicted by the
' Laws of Marche' to be handed over to the opposite
Warden to be punished with death.
Cold Trod, or the following up of goods stolen,
within six days afterwards, permitted without safe-
conduct. The pursuer, however, must ' go unto some
honest man, inhabiting within the Marches which he
hath enter'd, and declare unto him the cause of
1553. Fyling (convicting} and Acquitting upon the
Honour of the Warden. Now first introduced, and
limited ' to offences committed since the acceptation of
the last Peace and before the date of these Presents.'
This was doubtless to expedite arrears, but it
seems to have become permanent in march jurisdic-
tion, and to have been extended in scope as set forth
in the indenture of 1563. *
1 On this subject, see also pp. 111-4.
94 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
It would appear from this indenture that a jury of
' six honest and famous men ' of the Wardenry were
adjoined to the Warden in these cases of honour
(now extended to ' all complaints and attempts ')
by the opposite Warden. But as ' some ungodly
Persons ' took advantage of this order to ' make com-
plaints and bill for goods lost where none was taken
from them, and so troubled the Wardens to speir and
search for the thing that never was done/ then are
they to be apprehended and handed over to the
opposite Warden (whom they had thus troubled) to
be punished by him at his discretion.
The growth of civilisation and this increased desire
of law and order is shown by the instructions incor-
porated in the subsequent Border Laws.
1553. Baughling or reproving a subject of the
opposite realm at a Day of Truce forbidden except
by licence of both Wardens. 1
1563. In the next indenture the Wardens must see
that the complainant has justice done him on his bill
Perjury. Any one perjuring himself by swearing
falsely his innocence of a bill filed against him is to
be handed over to the opposite Warden to be im-
prisoned for three months, and at the * next day of
1 For the full treatment of the enactment and the meaning of the word,
see Appendix v.
THE BORDER LAWS 95
Trewes ' thereafter is to be ' brought before the
Wardens and there openly be denounced and pro-
claimed a Perjured man : after which time he shall
not be reputed to be a man able to give further Faith
or Testimony in any case or Matter.'
Overswearing of Value of Goods stolen. The two
Wardens, with a jury of ' 12 of the most worshipful
and Credible Persons, then being present' (half of
them Scotsmen, half Englishmen), may ' moderate,
diminish or qualifie the number or Price of the goods
or Cattel so overs worn.'
Trespass of Cattle. The owner of the ground or
in his default the Warden where one of the opposite
realm ' willingly and customably depastures and feeds
with his cattle or sheep, or staffherds the same,' may
' impound the said cattel and keep in Pound till the
owner pays for the first time for every nolt [bullock]
a Penny sterling, and for every Sheep a Penny Scots.
' If he offend again a double Parkage to be paid
until it extend to 2s. per nolt and 6d. per sheep,
beginning again with each New Year Day with a
Penny Sterling and a Penny Scots.'
Some progress in administration upon the Border
is now apparent, because in Edward iv.'s indenture it
will be remembered that the injured person was to be
allowed to avenge himself (' propria authoritate sua
ulciscatur ') if he could not obtain justice.
96 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
Fishing in the Tweed. There were various
disputes between the Captain of Norham, Selby of
Twizell, etc., and the Scots, the English of course
fishing the southern bank and the Scots the northern
bank of the Tweed. Any one ' unlawfully troubling,
stopping, or making impediment ' to the subject of
the opposite realm ' in his fishing is to be arrested by
the Warden, and if convicted at the Day of Trews
must pay 20s. sterling for every Tyde he made
impediment/ and is to be ' delivered to remain with
the party grieved, until the same be fully satisfied.'
Double and Sawfey, 1 or Two Doubles. For hurt or
wounding the same penalty is to be paid as for
robbing, thieving, and spoiling, viz. ' 2 Doubles/ as it
was called (viz. the original loss was doubled and a
third mulct, ' the Sawfey ' being added), the damage
being assessed by twelve jurymen (half Scots, half
English). ' Two Doubles ' are also payable for maim-
ing or mutilation, but over and above this the offender
is to be apprehended and delivered to the opposite
Warden, who is to punish him for ' 6 months in strayte
prison.' The same applies to damage by fire-raising ;
and in 1563 it is ordained that for the third time of
offending he shall ' incur the Pain of Death as a
common offender against the Laws of the Marches.'
In reality, there was much diversity of punishment,
1 See Appendix v.
THE BORDER LAWS 97
for, as section 25 of the indenture of 1553 points out,
each Warden had ' a Form and manner of proceeding
different from the other/ but the true punishment or
fine was a triple one, viz. ' 2 Doubles ' or ' Double
and Sawfey' in addition to the claim.
1563. Strict orders are given in Queen Elizabeth's
reign for the better ordering of justice on the Border,
but whether much reformation was effected is doubtful.
Thus ' the Wardens of the Marches must keep
their Days of March often, and in proper person, so
far as may be and not by their Deputies, without just
and great occasion.' Days of Truce are not to be let
slip, and once a month one Day of March at least
must be kept at every march by the officers thereof.
Price of Cattle determined. ' The price or value
of Cattle is set down for the avoiding of perjury
heretofore committed in the valuing of Cattel, and for
a great terror unto the wicked,' and also for the
expediting of the assessment of the * double ' and
' Sawfey.' The single value was to be esteemed and
judged as follows : -
' Every Ox, above 4 years old . 40 shillings
Every Cow ,, ,, . 30 ,,
Every Ox, above 2 years old . . 20 ,,
Every young Cow do. . . 20
Every other beast under 2 years old 10 ,,
Every old Sheep .... 6/
98 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
[Every] Sheep Hogge . ... 3/
old Swine above 1 year old . 6/
young . 2/
Gate [Goat] ,, ,, . 5/
young Gate . . . 2/
double Toope to be valued after the rate of
The Depasturing or Staffherding of Cattle in the
opposite Realm is further dealt with. Cattle or sheep
that are ' staffherded or remain depasturing upon the
ground of the opposite realm' for the space of six
hours in one day may be taken to his own use by the
owner of the ground or the Warden. The proprietor
or "Warden was to take with him ' 4 or more honest
& credible persons unsuspected, to be present with
him, to see that the execution be duly made, all
fraud and Male Engine set apart & removed.'
' In the event of the cattle depasturing less than
6 hours the order of the indenture of 1553 is to apply
concerning Parkadge & Pounding.'
' If lett or impediment be made by the owner of the
Cattle then are they to be lawfully forfeited, and
taken to the use of the Owner of the ground or
Warden, for the Contempt and Resistance made
against this order of Justice.'
Hot Trod. Any new rules and innovations now
made in Border Laws are not to interfere with the
THE BORDER LAWS 99
old custom of Hot Trod, viz. the following ' their
lawful Trade with * Hound and Horn, with Hue and
cry, and all other accustomed manner of fresh Pursuit,
Jor the Recovery of their Goods spoiled.'
1 SLEUTH-HOUNDS, SLEUTH-DOGS, ' SLEW ' OR ' SLOUGH '-Does
' And lang Aicky, in the Souter Moor,
Wi' his sleuth-dog sits in his watch right sure.'
The Fray of Support.
' Our ancient statutes,' wrote Sir Walter Scott (Border Minstrelsy,
Hobbie Noble, note), ' inform us that the blood-hound or sleuth-hound (so-
called from its quality of tracing the slot or track of men and animals)
was early used in the pursuit and detention of marauders.'
' Nullus perturbet aut impediat canem trassantem, aut homines trassantes
cum ipso, ad sequendum latrones. Kegiam majestatem lib 4 ver., cap. 32.'
Under the ancient custom of ' Hot Trode,' so continually met with in
Border writings, the ' parties grieved ' were by Border Law and custom
'to follow their lawful Trode with Hound and Horn, with Hue and Cry.'
The sentinel upon his lonely watch would certainly have been much
heartened by the company of a staunch bloodhound, and the fugitive
as much discouraged. ' These hounds seem latterly to have been popularly
termed " slough dogs," for pursuing offenders through the sloughs, mosses,
and bogs, that were not passable but by those who were acquainted with
the various and intricate by-paths and turnings.'
In 1595 the Bishop of Durham and Lord Eure (Warden of Middle
March) wrote to Lord Huntingdon (Lord President in the north) requesting
that he should cause ' the Justices to revive the good orders for watches of
all kinds, sloughhounds following hue and cry, and putting themselves and
servants in better order for service under terms and leases in these remote
parts.' (Calendar of Border Papers.)
And again, a little later, Edward Gray, Deputy- Warden, writes to Lord
Eure : ' For slew dogges, I want a kallender whiche your Lordship hathe,
by which I should call the dogs in their several divisions, and would gladly
have it, if you could devise means to send it.'
In 1616 the Commissioners of His Majesty's middle shires appoint the
manner of providing and keeping these ' slough dogs.' ' The sheriff, officers,
bailiffs, and constables, within every circuit and compass wherein the
slough dogs are appointed to be kept, are to take care for taxing the
inhabitants towards the charge thereof, and collect the same, and for pro-
viding the " slough dogs," and to inform the commissioners if any refuse to
pay their contributions, so as thereby such as refuse may be committed to
the gaol till they pay the same.'
100 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
A Warden may pursue in Hot Trod fugitives or
offenders into the opposite realm, and none may let
or hinder him, but must join him on request and
notice given of the reason of the chase, for the
Warden is to give knowledge of the ' Hot Trod ' to
the ' first town he comet h by or the first Person he
meeteth with ' on such occasions.
If the pursuer ' do injury or unlawful harm within
the opposite Realm' he is to be delivered to the
opposite Warden and to be punished at his discretion,
and other twelve persons of the same realm to be
nominated by the opposite Warden.
A Warden's Raid or Rode (formerly at times
undertaken by the Warden, who was permitted to
avenge injury by his own strong arm) was forbidden,
' except when specially commanded by the Prince/ by
Elizabeth in 1596, but this, of course, would not
interfere with the ancient liberty of pursuing the
1596. Again, in 1596 stricter order is to be taken
with ' all notorious Thieves and Robbers ' within the
various Wardenries. A list must be enrolled and given
in to the Warden, ' who shall, upon the first attempt
that shall be truly filed upon them hereafter, put the
offender immediately to death : or, in case he be
fugitive, shall cause him to be proclaimed such an one
according to the order and customs of the Borders,
THE BORDER LAWS 101
and his House immediately to be demolished and
destroyed, that it serve him no more for Receipt
within that Wardenry.' Previously to this, by the
Border Law of 1563, the offender was only to be put
to death for the third fault.
Goods lost to be claimed within Year and Day. ' If
it shall happen any person to have bonajide in his
possession stollen goods, not knowing them to be
stollen, in case he be not sued therefor within year
and day, the goods shall remain with him ever after
as his own proper goods.'
Pledges. Finally, in regard to the ' pledges ' so
often mentioned, usually they were of c very mean
quality,' not unlike Falstaff's ' pressed men,' and
their fate was frequently to die in prison. ' Haddock's
Hole ' at Berwick had its tale to tell of these vicarious
pledges. Prisons, indeed, were so foul and unsanitary
that prisoners of a higher quality, who would be
treated with greater consideration, often suffered the
like fate. Thus in Henry vn.'s reign, on the occasion
of ' Sir Robert Carre, Warden of Scotland, being
slain e at a trewe, an Heron with 7 others were
delivered for him, and died in Fast Castle prisoners
for that facte.'
Sometimes in the absence of his ' pledges ' the
Warden would * deliver ' an officer of his own.
Suppose, for example, a bill had been 'fyled' upon
102 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
an inhabitant of his Wardenry, and that the Warden
had not been able to arrest him at the Day of Truce,
he might, to prove his goodwill and faithfulness,
hand over his own servant instead. In which case
he often, as the phrase went, ' borrowed ' him again
upon his word.
Thus in the indenture of 1596 section 11 deals with
the personal responsibility of the Warden in this
' Yf the warden deliver his officer for a bill fyled
before him, and afterwards borrow him again upon his
word, as is the use, yf in the meantime the party so
fyled depart this life, by whatsoever way or means, in
this case the Warden shall pay the bill, and seek his
remedy and relief upon the heirs and executors of the
Defunct, as he may best.'
Broken Men. This would more especially be the
case with the ' pledges ' of the ' broken men/ such, for
example, as the Routledges on the West March, who
were proverbially spoken of as ' every man's prey.'
There was special provision made for them and for
' clanless loons' in the indenture of 1596, where certain
sections deal with the pledges to be entered for ' every
sirname of broken men' (viz. men without a respon-
sible head or chief), and also with the pledges for
' such Border men and others as are not of any
knowne Clanne ' ; and it is enacted ' that being entred
THE BORDER LAWS 103
thay shall be kept by indifferent men, upon their
own expense, and not committed to the custody of
any person with whom they stand at feed or variance.'
These men were to be responsible for their whole
sirname, and if the bills fyled were not redressed
within a year and a day, * it shall be in the choice of
the Prince or officers (in whose hands they remain) to
take their lives, or to retain or seize them at their
pleasure till the full delivery be made/
104 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
THE COURTS AND JURISDICTION OF THE
THE phrase 'a Border Meeting' might imply the
coming together of the two Wardens for the holding
of a Day of Truce, or else the assembly of the Com-
missioners or Conservatores Treugarum for settling
peace between the two kingdoms.
In 1598 Sir William Bowes, writing to Burghley,
thus distinguishes between the two kinds of Border
meetings. ' 1st. Ordinary, between the wardens or
deputies for common justice. 2nd. The other, the
more solemn, as between commissioners sent for
leagues, treaties of peace, or misconduct of wardens.
They differ in kind and observance, yet agree in
others, viz., taking assurance; meeting at the place,
and sitting in some church or town for business ; also
that assurance usually, by the English going in, is de-
manded and taken first, immediately after, the Scots
THE LORD WARDENS' COURTS 105
demanding and receiving the like of ours. They
differ more in other two points, viz., the more prin-
cipal commissioners have kept their meetings on the
"very marche lyne," and for their session, mostly,
not always, at Berwick or Carlisle. Ordinary meet-
ings and sessions usually in Scottish ground, except
when by the wardens' agreement, transposed for con-
venience to a frontier town. I find from " auncient "
men this was the usage, drawn from the practice of
the first Lord Wharton and Sir Robert Bowes, two
of the most expert Borderers within memory.'
The Form and Order of a Day of Truce, or the
Meeting between Warden and Warden
In Burn and Nicholson's History of Westmorland
and Cumberland there is given a very interesting
account from a manuscript of one Richard Bell, who
appears to have been Warden Clerk on the Western
March during the greatest part of Queen Elizabeth's
reign, of the manner of keeping Warden Courts.
These courts were held by both Wardens at Days of
Truce for the mutual redress of grievances between
the subjects of the one kingdom and the other in the
In this manuscript there is given ' a brief declara-
tion of the special heads, orders, and forms of the laws
of Marches of ancient time used upon the Borders
106 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
by the Lord Wardens of England and Scotland at
their meetings and days of trewes.' By means of
their messengers or servants, the various Wardens
would arrange with each other a day and place of
meeting, and their clerks would be instructed to
interchange their various bills containing the accusa-
tions the list of ' attempts ' of either realm against
Then the ' Days of Marche so appointed, pro-
clamation is to be made and straite letters of com-
mandment directed in the Queen's Majesty's name,
for all lords, knights, esquires, gentlemen, and several
officers, with convenient numbers of their charge and
tenants (as time and service require) for to repair
the night before, and give their attendance upon the
Lord Warden unto the said day of Marche, defensibly
arrayed, and with their best horses and nags, the
morrow next following.
'The Lord Warden, attended with the gentle-
men, officers, servants, and their powers, is to ride
from the place where he inhabiteth, unto the
Marche bank, all staying there without riding any
further, or going over the stream if there be water,
or bounds if it be dry land.
'The Lord Warden of England first of all (the
THE LORD WARDENS' COURTS 107
opposite Warden known to be come to the place
appointed), doth send either his deputy, or some
other special gentleman of good worth whom it
pleaseth him to make choice of, with a convenient
number of the best-horsed and most sufficient gentle-
men of his company, unto the Warden of Scotland,
signifying his repair thither, and craving assurance
during their meeting until the sun-rising of the next
day following, which assurance being required by
England and granted by Scotland : the Scotch
Warden, holding up his hand, engages for perform-
ing thereof in all respects.
' Then the deputy and other gentlemen of England,
returning back to the Lord Warden of England, are
to make relation of the assurance granted, and con-
sent for the preservation of the amity.
' The Lord Warden of Scotland sendeth his deputy
or some other special gentleman, accompanied with
others of the best sort of horsemen, unto the Lord
Warden of England, shewing that the Lord Warden
of Scotland yieldeth to allow and confirm the
assurance demanded for Scotland, craving the like
for England : which the Warden of England, hold-
ing up his hand, granteth.
' The Deputy of Scotland and his company return
108 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
back to the Warden of Scotland, declaring the grant-
ing of the assurance by England.
' The Lord Warden of England, before he or any of
his company enter into Scotland, causeth proclama-
tion to be made for observation of the peace, for old
feeds l [feuds] and new, word, deed and countenance,
from the time of the proclaiming thereof, until the
next day at the sun-rising, upon pain of death.
' The like proclamation, after their return forth
of England, by the Scotch Warden made before
* The Lord Warden of England with his company
entereth into Scotland, riding to the place where the
Lord Warden of Scotland is, and lighting off horse-
back stands still, until the Scotch Warden comes to
him then and there in all friendly and orderly
manner, mutually embracing the one the other.
' After meeting and conference had between the
Lord Wardens, they draw themselves remote to some
quiet place, interchangeably calling the rolls and bills
of both sides, in the presence of the gentlemen of the
best sorts of both the countries.
' If any doubt arise touching the fouling of the
1 The meaning is that none should offend another by any speech, action
or look, and that no ' deadly feud ' of the past should be revived or a new
THE LORD WARDENS' COURTS 109
said bills, then the same is to be tried either by
the Lord Warden's honour, or a jury of six gentle-
men of England, and six of Scotland, or by a vower l
The oath of the jurors is :
' You shall clean no bills worthy to be fouled, you
shall foul no bills worthy to be cleaned, but
shall do that which appeareth with truth, for
the maintenance of the peace, and suppress-
ing of attempts: So help you God.'
The ancient oath for excusing bills :
' You shall swear by heaven above you, hell be-
neath you, by your part of Paradise, by all
that God made in six days and seven nights,
and by God himself, you are whart out sack-
less of art, part, way, witting, ridd, kenning,
having or resetting of any of the goods and
cattels named in this bill : So help you God? 2
The oath of swearing of bills fouled :
' You shall leile price make, and truth say, what
your goods were worth at the time of their
taking to have been bought and sold in a
market taken all at one time, and that you
knew no other recovery but this : So help you
1 A person agreed upon by both parties, who was to be of the country of
the party accused.
2 This evidently must be the oath of the defendant.
3 This must be the oath of the prosecutor.
110 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
' The Lord Wardens l having proceeded to the call-
ing, fouling, and making delivery of bills : concluding,
cause proclamation to be made by three Oyez's :
' We do you to wit, that the Lords Wardens of
England and Scotland, and Scotland and England,
have at this day of truce well agreed, conform to the
laudable custom of the law of Marche, and have made
answer and delivery, foul or clean, of all the bills in-
rolled and so the proclamation holds on according to
the Lords Wardens' agreements and directions.
' Proclamation made, and leave taken by the
Wardens in all kindly sort, they with their com-
panies depart and return homeward.
1 The Lord Wardens themselves had latterly to take oath to do justice.
Thus, Item 4 of the indenture of 1563 runs : 'That every Warden, at
the First Day of Trewes, hereafter to be holden by himself, shall (in the
presence of the opposite Warden, and the Inhabitants of both the Marches)
make a solemn oath, and swear by the High God that reigneth above all
Kings and Realms, and to whom all Christians owe obedience ; That he
shall (in the name of God) do, exercise and use his office without respect of
Person, Malice, Favour, or Affection, diligently, or undelayedly, according
to his vocation and charge that he beareth under God and his Prince ; and
shall do justice upon all complaints presented unto him, upon every Person
complained upon under his Rule, and that, when any complaint is referred
unto him, to swear, fyle, and deliver upon his Honour, he shall search,
enquire and redress the same at his utmost power ; And that, if it shall
happen him in so doing to acquit and absolve the Persons complained
upon as Clean and Innocent ; yet if he shall anyways get sure knowledge
of the very offender he shall declare him foul of the offence, and make
lawful Redeem and Delivery thereof, albeit the very offender be not named
in the Complaint. And this oath of the Wardens not only to be made at
the first meeting hereafter to ensue, but also to be made every year once
solemnly, as aforesaid, at the first Meeting after Midsummer, to put them
in the better Remembrance of their Duties, and to place the Fear of God
in their Hearts.'
THE LORD WARDENS' COURTS 111
' The Warden of England calleth upon the gentle-
men, demanding their opinions and good likings of
the proceedings and conference had betwixt him and
the Lord Warden of Scotland that day. Whereunto
the gentlemen give answer and their opinions, which
done, the gentlemen take their leave : the Warden
yielding them thanks for their attendance and readi-
ness of service.'
Fuller and more detailed instructions as to the
method of procedure and punishment can be obtained
from the Border Laws. Thus in an indenture of 1553
made between the Commissioners of the Queens of
England and Scotland, ' it is ordered and devised for
a more special expedition of justice between the said
wardens of the said East and Middle Marches, that
all attempts and complaints done within the said
marches, since the acceptation of peace, shall be
inrolled by the Warden of the marche where the com-
plainant doth inhabit : and the said rolles shall be sent
to the opposite warden, answerable to the same ; and
the warden shall receive the said roll, and shall do his
uttermost power and indeavours to speire, search, and
enquire the truth and verity of these attempts, con-
tained in the said complaints; and to cause such
persons as be there complained upon to be arrested by
the serjeant, to answer thereunto, if they be present.
112 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
' And if they then shall happen to be absent, then
they are to be arrested : to answer at the next day of
Trewes, where and when the warden and the assize
shall either fyle the said bills, or give another lawful
answer at their next meeting, after the laws and
customs of the marches : whereof 6 to be of the
said warden's appointment, and the other 6 to be
appointed by the said complainant, or such as do
follow the bill.'
And further, supposing that those individuals who
had been ' fyled ' (found guilty) by the Warden had
fled or hidden themselves so as to avoid arrest and
judgment at the Day of Truce, then ' no lawful
deliverance or recompense ' having been made for the
same ' it is agreed, that the wardens of both marches
(at the next day of Trewes ensuing or following of
the fileing of the said bills) shall make deliverance of
such other persons, by the arrest of the opposite
warden : as he will undertake to be sufficient for the
said bill. The person so delivered to remain with
the party offended, until he be fully satisfied, and
lawfully and fully redressed, according to justice, and
the laws of marche.'
From the various accounts of the form of trial
given by Mr. Bell (the Warden's clerk), the Leges
Marchiarum, and the Memorandum on the ' mode of
holding a march day ' as given in the Calendar of
THE LORD WARDENS' COURTS 113
Border Papers in 1585, it would appear that the
Wardens' method of procedure varied as the years
There being some confusion apparent, it is as well
to set down here the changes that appear to have
Thus section 1 of the indenture of 1553 permits
the Wardens for a more especial expedition of
justice to ' speire, search, and deliver/
Section 4 limits this ' special order before demised
for the Fyling and acquitting of bills upon the
honour of the Warden only to such bills containing
offences as have been committed since the last peace
and these presents,' and is * not to abrogate or alter
the old laws and customs in fyling bills by the
Wardens of both realms.'
A jury of twelve men of whom six are to be
nominated by the respondent Warden, and '6 to be
nominated by the complainant, or such as do follow
the bill ' are appointed as the Wardens' assize.
In 1563, however, a step further in the direction
of a more expeditious method of obtaining justice
is taken, for therein the Wardens are bidden to
' speir, fyle, and deliver upon their honour, to-
gether with six honest and famous men, adjoined to
him for the tryal thereof to be named by the opposite
114 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
Finally, in the last of the Leges Marchiarum, the
indenture of 1596, this last step is taken, that the
Warden must himself fyle or clear every bill sub-
mitted to him.
There is here no mention of the former mixed jury
of twelve of 1553, or the jury of six of his own
Wardenry of 1563, so that everything was now left
to ' the honour of the Warden.'
The section (5) dealing with this runs as follows :
' That the Wardens in fyleing and clearing upon
their Honours, shall set down in the margin of every
bill fyled and cleared by them (foul or clear, as I am
verily persuaded upon my conscience and honour),
and such bills as they will not fyle or clear within the
said fifteen days, by these words, or such like in
effect, the same being signified unto them within the
foresaid space of forty-eight hours, to be foul upon
themselves for their neglect of duty in that
The confusion that resulted, and the difference in
procedure noticeable in various cases, are probably
due to the fact that the indenture of 1553 specially
guarded against the altering or abrogating the ' old
laws and customs in fileing bills by the wardens of
This at least is the only explanation that can be
THE LORD WARDENS' COURTS
given of the procedure in the case of the bill of
Percival Reed of Troughend in 1590, when 'at the
Belles Kirk 1 on the 13th of April he complained
upon sundry Elliots and Armstrongs for " an open
foray" at Troughend on Whitmonday 1589, for
" reaving both insight and outsight gear, and the kill-
ing of 2 men," ' which is ' alredie agreed, fyled, and
sworne by the sight of 4 Englishmen and 4 Scottes-
men.' (Calendar of Border Papers.)
In conclusion, we give here two instances from
Burn and Nicholson's History of ' bills fouled,' one
against England and the other against Scotland.
The first is c fouled ' against Liddesdale by the Com-
missioners of Berwick for lack of appearance.
and the poor
Old lard of Whit-
lard of Wit-
Thorn, and Jock
140 kie & oxen, 100 sheep,
20 gate, and all their
insight, 2001 sterling :
and the slaughter of
Martin Taylor, John
Dodshon, John Skelloe,
and Mathew Black-
f l ' Lyddesdale. At the Belles Kirk the xiii of April 1590 William Fen-
wick gentleman, deputie for the warden of the Myddle Marches of Eng-
lande, and Thomas Trotter, deputie for the Lorde Bothewell, keper of
Lyddesdale, principally mett for the redressinge of attempts on bothe
116 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
The second is * fouled ' by the Commissioners
against the West March of England.
Walter Scott of
and the tenants
of Ett rick
Will Grame of the Rose-
trees, and Hutchins
Richie of the Balie,
with their com-
80 kine and oxen,
40nolt, 160 sheep,
THE DIFFICULTIES AND DRAWBACKS OF THE
Apparently at a Wardens' meeting or Day of
Truce the Lord Wardens were restricted by the
treaties and conventions between the two kingdoms,
for ' the laws of the Marches,' writes Sir B. Bowes,
' be grounded and taken furthe of the articles and
convencions of the last treatie of peace passed
betwene the realnies and other remedye or redresse
is there none for either partie against the other, but
according to the said convencions and treatye, where-
fore in some cases a person of eyther realme having
both hurt and wrong can have no remedie because
the case is not provyded for in the treatye as shall
DIFFICULTIES AND DRAWBACKS 117
We may add in this connection Sir B. Bowes's
further remarks upon the difficulty of obtaining
justice at a Day of Truce, premising this, however,
that the Scottish Warden would probably have said
the same of the Englishmen opposite.
'And yet nevertheless because Justice can never
perfectlye be had of the Scottes, in some case for lacke
of dewe obedience of the subjects, and in other cases
because of maintennance that gentlemen beare unto the
thieves and misdoers, and also by occasion of perjurye
of the Borderers, myne opinion is that yt ys the best
waye to doe them semblable Justice for England, as
the Warden of Scotland or his deputy can or may
obtaine at their hands and no further or otherwayes,
and so shall they best be brought to Justice and
otherwayes the Scottes wilbe greate complayners and
exclamers for Justice, and of there owne parte,
execute or doe little or none, but take advantage
of all delaies, evasions, and subterfuges that may
be profitable to that realme either trewe men or
Apart from these restrictions and prejudices, how-
ever, the weakest point in the procedures dealt with
in the last chapter lay in the fact that if the
Warden would not ' fyle upon his honour' from
whatsoever cause and no ' avower ' would come
1 Richardson, Reprints of Rare Tracts, vol. iv. p. 23.
118 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
forward, the defendant would go free. The 'notori-
etas facti' might make no appeal to unwilling
ears, and there is no means of coercing a Warden
save by referring the matter to the King or
The sixteenth-century paper distinctly asserts this
in the following words : ' Except the Warden himself
knowing shall acknowledge the fact, or a man of the
same nation found that voluntarily will avouche it
(the ordinarie and only waies of trial), be the facte
never so patent, the delinquent is quit by the laws
of the Border.'
But, naturally, if the Warden would not ' confess
the fact' it would be difficult to procure an avower,
for the avower might easily incur the displeasure of
his Warden and his own countrymen. 2
1 In the mode of holding a March Day, 1585 (Calendar of Border Papers,
vol. i. p. 194), it is said that ' the manner of triall of ane person is two-
folde, viz. (1) when the Warden shall, upon his owne knowledge [ex
notorietate* facti, as it is elsewhere written], confesse the facte, and so
deliver the partie offending.' If he, however, refused to 'confesse the
facte,' and so ' deliver upon his honour,' there was (2) a second way of trial,
' which was by confronting a man of the same nation to averre the fact.'
This individual would correspond evidently with the 'vower publique'
of Mr. Bell's manuscript mentioned above ; but there is no mention of
the third way of trial given by Mr. Bell, of a jury half Scots, half
[* One of the charges against Sir John Forster was ' that he hath frus-
trated the English subjectes of redresse, demaunding vower for knowen
murtheres and day forrayes, and spoyles of whole townshipes, which by the
customes of the Borders doe avow themselves.' (Calendar of Border Papers,
vol. i p. 233.)]
2 The following incident, taken from letters of Sir John Carey and Wm.
Selby to Burghley in 1596, will sufficiently prove this. A Commission
DIFFICULTIES AND DRAWBACKS 119
Again, there was this further possibility of trouble
for an ' avower,' that he might be ' backbilled '
against. ' Backbilling ' against an avower is dealt
with in 1596, and confirms what was said above
as to the difficulty of carrying out this method of
Sections 17 and 18 of the last of the Border Laws
the indenture of 1596 deal with this possibility of
' backbilling ' or bringing a charge against such a
' Yf any man unjustly trouble or offend another
in word or deed, any time hereafter, for fyling
was sitting in Berwick at this time, and Ralph Selby, nephew to Sir John
Selby, gentleman porter, had been ' deposed by the Commissioners whether
one George Nevill, servant to the Ladie Gray, and Mr. Ralph Gray, had stolen
certain e cattle from Mr. Walter Carre of Littleden, a Scottish gentleman.'
Nevell, then, was ' filed ' (found guilty), and in revenge filed a bill brought in
against Ralph Selby, who, ' knowing himself clear, denied it, and an English
vower was called on according to custom. One Mr. George Nevell, a tenant
to Mr. Ralph Grey and a servant to my Lady Grey, vowed this bill against
Mr. Selby, who was filed. Thereon hot words passed between Selby and
Nevell, and Mr. Grey being by, hearing the gentleman ill spoken to, defended
his cause somewhat, whereon some hard words grew between Mr. Selby
and Mr. Grey, which being in the open court was qualified by the officers
' But the Selbys, as I understand, sent a challenge that night to Mr. Ralph
Grey and his brother Edward, to meet with the gentleman porter and his
nephew. It was not in writing, and the Greys refused. But this morning
Mr. Ralph Selby sent a new challenge to Mr. Edward Grey himself,
whereon the latter sent a man to the gentleman porter's lodging, desir-
ing him to meet in the churchyard, where they might debate and
confer friendly on that matter. They met, but their kindness fell to
such unkindness, as they fell together by the ears. The gentleman porter
and Mr. Edward Grey are both hurt, a very honest gentleman of Mr.
Ralph Grey's killed, and 4 or 5 of either side very ill hurt.' (Calendar of
120 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
any bill hereafter against him, he shall never be
heard to backbill against the Avower ; and never-
theless shall be punished therefore by the discre-
tion of the Warden, according to the quality of the
' For eschewing of fraudulent drift and delay used
in backbilling, of purpose to disappoint the avower of
his proofs which he hath or may have presently to
verify his word. It is ordained, That whosoever shall
backbill against any Avower, shall do it against or
within 40 days after the filing, or else to be excluded
from the remedy for ever ; and, to that effect, every
warden shall be bound to hold warden courts, and to
do justice within 20 days after he shall be required
by the party, under the pain of paying the bill
As a Scot was not permitted to bear witness
against an Englishman, nor vice versa, the outlook
for a prosecutor must often have proved black and
the method of avowry a feeble reed to trust in,
though possibly he might procure an ' avower ' by
availing himself of the licence allowed by the in-
denture of 1460 in Edward iv.'s reign, whereby the
injured party might without any safe-conduct
within six days of an assault or injury, in the endeavour
to right himself enter into the opposite march and
make his complaint and losses known unto some
DIFFICULTIES AND DRAWBACKS 121
inhabitant there of good fame and unsullied repute, or
else unto the Warden himself.
The latter-day Borderer must have sometimes
sighed for the ancient ' duellum ' upon the march
allowed by the first of all the Border Laws, when he
found his oath of no avail, the opposite Warden
refusing to ' fyle,' and no avower forthcoming.
The powerful chieftain, ' the strong man armed,'
could take good care of himself, but the poor man
the ' Jimmy Telfer of the fair Dodhead ' had often a
hard task to win his own good kye back again, and
usually he would be driven to pay ' blackmail ' pro-
tection money even though it was forbidden by the
Laws of March, in order to ensure protection or at
least a measure of revenge when his ' gear ' had been
Even when the Warden, anxiously endeavouring to
do justice, fyled bills ' upon his honour/ there was
still the difficulty of capturing his felons and handing
them over to the opposite Warden.
If they had hidden themselves, or fled, the Warden
was in a very uncomfortable position, for he might be
taxed with equivocation or worse, as Sir John Forster
was by Carmichael at their meeting on the Keidswire
in 1575. Again, sometimes he might have to
surrender his own servant as a pledge, as was pointed
out in Chapter v., to be handed over to the offended
122 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
party till the guilty person could be found and
delivered over in his stead or else due reparation
made by money payment. Thus in 1596 Buccleugh,
Keeper of Liddesdale, surrendered himself in default
of his pledges to the English Commissioners at
The greatest difficulty of all in the obtaining of
justice, however, lay in arranging the meeting of the
Continually one reads of one or other Warden
' making shot ' or ' shotting ' the suggested meet-
ing: usually the reason was unwillingness to meet
his opposite because of the heavy list of ' attempts '
he would have to answer, but sometimes, of course,
the meetings were deferred (' shot ') owing to illness
or a summons from the King or Privy Council. Once
1 shot ' the meeting was very difficult to bring on
again, and one reads of Liddesdale not being brought
to justice for years, as no one was responsible, or at
least none would admit responsibility, for so fierce a
ETIQUETTE AND PRECEDENCE 123
' Now, Douglas,' quoth Erie Percy then,
' Thy proffer I doe scorne ;
I will not yielde to any Scott
That ever yet was borne.'
QUESTIONS OF ETIQUETTE AND PRECEDENCE AT THE
MEETINGS OP THE WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
As representing the sovereigns of their respective
countries, the Wardens were often as punctilious as
accredited ambassadors in regard to procedure and
precedence. It seems, however, that the practice as
set forth by Mr. Richard Bell, the clerk of the west
Wardenry, had come to be regarded as fixed, viz.
that the English Warden should send a messenger
into Scotland at a day of diet or Warden's meeting to
' crave assurance ' from the Scots Warden for his entry
without the formality of meeting upon the actual
march line. This given, the English Warden would
advance into Scotland with his chief gentlemen and
officers, and there was received by the opposite Warden.
Thus the Lord Dacre, Warden of the West March,
writes to the Privy Council concerning the meeting
with the Scots Warden at Lochmabenstone (be-
side Solway, near Gretna Green) in 1550. 'And
whereas it hath been used in times past, that the
said assurance was asked and granted on both parts,
124 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
before the Lord Warden of England passed over the
water, I thought it meet now for the better mainten-
ance of the king's title and interest of the debatable
land to go over the same water into the same de-
batable, before we either demanded or granted any
assurance ; where the same was accomplished accord-
ingly and so proceeded to the place prefixed.'
But Sir Robert Carey, young, energetic, and deter-
mined to uphold his Queen's rights to check the
Scots' pride, refused to follow this practice when
Warden of the Middle March, and insisted upon re-
turning to the more ancient method of first meeting
with the Scots Warden in mid-stream (when the
march was the river Tweed), and only after that
passing over into Scotland.
He thus writes to Cecil in 1598 :
' On the 12th inst. [September] there was a meet-
ing appointed betwixt Sir Robert Ker and myself at
Fyerburn mill hard by Warke Castle : when we both
came to the place, but met not, by reason he would
have had me come over the water into Scotland,
which I refused, except he would meet me in the
" myd-streamt." So we broke off, appointing a new
meeting on the 19th hereof at the Cocklaw, which
is a dry march. There also we differed, for he would
have me come into Scotland, which I refused unless
he would come to the very march to fetch me : so
ETIQUETTE AND PRECEDENCE 125
that there was no likelihood of our meeting at that
time likewise. My reason for standing more strictly
on these points was certain proud words uttered by
certain Scots gentlemen that he sent over to me
to take assurance which were as follows: "That
England dyd owe that duty and obedyence to Scot-
land to come over into Scotland to them at all meet-
ings upon the Border " to which I took exception,
telling them I would not refuse to do as other
Wardens did before me, viz., to meet always at the
March, and so go over into Scotland and end our
' But I utterly refused to enter and acknow-
ledge any duty or obedience to Scotland, and said I
would inform the Queen my mistress of their un-
seemly words, and if it were her pleasure to yield, I
would obey her commands. Wherefor I pray you to
acquaint her Majesty and signify her pleasure against
our next meeting.' (Calendar of Border Papers.)
Again, in October of the same year Sir Robert
Carey writes further on this point to Cecil :
* By your letter of 29th Sept. received the 4th
inst. " late in the night " I understand her majesty's
pleasure to be informed "by whome, from whome,
and in what manner, these words of obedyence and
duty were spoken ? "
' This was as follows : After I had sent to the
126 THE LORD WARDENS OP THE MARCHES
Warden for assurance, and that as accustomed I
would meet him at the March (which in that place
was in the myddes of the water), and then with him
enter Scotland, he sent word by 4 of his company
that I was to come over the water to the dry land
of Scotland and he would there receive me.
* Some dispute arising between me and them, at
last one of them, John Ker of Corbet house, sayd of
himself, not from Sir Robert Ker, and he spoke yt to
me, that yt was an obedience England ought to
Scotland, ever seynce a warden of their's was slain
at a day of trew by us, one of Sir Robert Ker his
ancestors : and at that instant, another of them
called Andrew Ker of Rocksbrough, sayd to Roger
Woodryngton, Sandy Fenwyck and others of my
companye, that seynce that time we have ought
them that dutye. This was the manner of their
uttering and it made me more " kuryous " to yield.
I have made inquiry of the best and oldest borderers
as to the manner of the Wardens' meeting, and they
concur that we are to go into Scotland, and end our
causes of meeting there.
* But the manner of our meeting ys the thing in
questyon : it ys for certen that Sir Wylliam Drurye,
when he was Warden of the East Marche, never met
but in the myd streame : and after meeting there he
went into Scotland.
ETIQUETTE AND PRECEDENCE 127
' The gentleman Porter dyd avow these before the
Scotes that he had scene his brother meete in the
myd streame with Sir Robert Ker's father : and so
dyd a sonn of Sir John Selbye's lykewyse affyrme.
Dyvers gentlemen of the Myddle Marche dyd there
avowe that they had scene Sir John Forster do the
' The Scotes wold allow none of this, but brought in
proofes of latter tyme how that Sir John Selby, Sir
John Forster and my Lord Eure, in their tymes dyd
continually comme into Scotland a good peece before
they weare mett with the wardens of Scotland :
which I think to be trew, for the 2 Sir Johns being
growne old men and loving their ease and quyet,
knowing that they were to go into Scotland, of latter
years respected not the meeting at the Marche, but
went over into Scotland to them : and my Lord Eure
after their example dyd the lyke.
'And the Scots are so good natured, that yf we
give them an inche they wyll take an ell ! and
would have us follow the later customs. But as the
ancient Borderers think the first meeting should be
the very march and the business determined in Scot-
land, I see no reason to yield more than is due : yet
if her majesty's pleasure be that I go over before we
meet, I will obey, having discharged my duty.'
Finally, in a letter four days later in date from
128 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
Sir William Bowes to Cecil it is written : ' An
auncient gentleman folower of Sir Robert Bowes,
telleth me that he carried a great meetinge thus :
both parties beinge drawne neare the Marche lyne,
Sir Robert stepped forward unto the Scottish syde
audiblie speakinge these wordes "/ will loose the
kinge my master no grounde" clearly coveringe the
necessitie of his entry hereby.'
He then proceeds to set forth ' the ground of so
yielding.' ' It is held by tradition on the Borders/
he writes, 'that when a war between the realms
ended, the Scots must first demand peace. During
peace, at ordinary meetings, the English must first
'Your honour may learn better on this from the
heralds than on report of tradition.' Another ground
is imputed to the slaughter of Sir Robert Ker, great-
grandfather to this Cessford, slain within English
ground by one Starrhead, servant to Sir William
Heron, the English Warden, who, though not present
that day, was delivered into Scotland by ' that noble
and just Prince King Henry vu., yet they say the
Scots swore they would never after come on English
ground for justice, and by the King's sufferance this
course has grown.'
A third traditional reason he also gives, which is
that formerly the English and Scots princes were
ETIQUETTE AND PRECEDENCE 129
used to meet on occasions of ' interpelance ' and
treaty near to a privileged monastery beside Lady
Kirk which was originally built upon ' Debateable
grounde.' This ground, however, is now within
reputed Scottish territory, but the old custom still
As to the best course to be pursued, 'his opinion
is that if no treaty or record is found to bind her
majesty, I see not why common errors should pre-
judice her rights or safety of her people : especially
when weighty occasions press for reform as in these
vain words repeated by Sir Robert Carey, "too
bigge for any Scottish mowth," or in the treacherous
tumults and slaughters at the Readswyre, Cocklaw,
Westfourde and the like, chiefly as the custom forces
her officers and people to take Scottish trust : which
I would reform by first fixing the very line dividing
the 2 realms : and then one realm at one time, and
the other at the next, may in turn demand as-
surance, and keep their sessions of justice inter-
There are also letters to Cecil this same month
from Sir John Forster and William Selby on the
subject of march meetings, but nothing definite
seems to have been arranged, and the more recent
method seems to have been adhered to during the
next five years up to the time of the accession of
130 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
James vi. and i. whereby the less important meet-
ings were held on Scottish ground, while the more
important discussions were carried on at Berwick or
' Quis custodiet ipsos custodes ? '
The rules of the game were, as we have already
seen, drawn up by the Commissioners of either king-
dom, and added to by the Wardens ; but with such
keen players as the Border chiefs and their followers
there was a good deal of ' offside ' in the playing, and
any dispute that might arise was joyfully welcomed
by the more turbulent as a means of deferring the
inconvenience of a trial and possible ' hanging/ or
again as an opportunity to avenge an injury or feud.
Thus at the ' day of trews ' at Hexpethgate on
Windy Gyle, in August 1585, when Sir John
Forster, the English Warden of the Middle March,
met Ferniehirst, the Scots Warden, the occasion was
used by Sir Thomas Ker (of Ferniehirst), the Scots
Warden, to kill Forster's son-in-law, Lord Francis
Russell, who had sent up to the Lord President
of the Privy Council some intercepted letters of
Ferniehirst's and Arran's.
Now Ferniehirst was a great supporter of Mary
ETIQUETTE AND PRECEDENCE 131
Queen of Scots, and a great plotter on her behalf, so
that the defence he put forward afterwards, that ' one
Wanless ane English boy dyd breake the said assur-
ance by stealing a paire of spurs, and that his friends
dyd hurte a Scots man/ seems quite untrue in face of
Forster's statement, that Sir Thomas Ker ' came not
only with the force of his own marche, but brought a
company of the Merse, which neither he nor his prede-
cessors ever did before and with ensigns, pensells,
and drums in warlike manner, attacked us while
sitting quietly calling our bills, and. gave their full
charge upon us, when Lord Russell was slain, and the
whole field broken and disordered.'
Forster had ' offered the boy to be delyvered to be
hanged, and all things was pacified and done/ and
the real cause of the breaking of the assurance was
the interception of ' certain writings beinge in ciphers
forth of the purse of the berer thereof cominge from
Forster in his despatch to Walsingham says
further, ' What yt was I knowe not, but I think yt
came from Arraine and Pharnihyrste ; but howsoever
yt came, I know that Pharnihyrste was in a great
greife with him for yt, which I thinke hath beine a
greate occacion of the ere well murder upon him, and
I hope that yt will manifestlie fall owte that the
Karis [Kers], which are the nearest kinsemen to him
132 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
in all Scotlande, are the killers of him, so that yt
appeareth that yt is a pretended matter before
devised by Arraine and Pharnihyrste.'
A cairn (' slain man's cairn ') was raised on Windy
Gyle, and may still be seen there to this day,
which marks the spot where Lord William met his
Ker, who is said to have been able to raise three
thousand men within his own march, died the year
after, and Sir John Forster, reporting the occur-
rence to Walsingham, concludes as follows :
' Whereof I am sorry that he and some betters had
not beine hanged.'
The breaking of the assurance in this instance,
then, was due to a private grudge of the Warden's,
accentuated by political animosity, and in the cele-
brated fight on the Beidswire it was the pride l of the
English Warden that provoked the encounter. The
place of meeting was on the Border, somewhat east
of Carter Fell in the Middle March, the year 1575,
the Scots Deputy- War den, Sir John Carmichael, and
the English Warden, Sir John Forster.
The Court had been called, and cases were being
1 The Warden of the East March, Lord Hunsdon, was evidently
animated by the like sentiment, for he writes thus concerning the occur-
rence : ' The names of the takers of Sir John Forster, and the rest given
in were a set of beggarly harlotts and sheep-stealers not worth the
ETIQUETTE AND PRECEDENCE 133
heard and wrongs redressed, when an Englishman
(Farnstein), a notorious offender, was demanded by
the Scots Warden to be delivered up, according to
March Law, to be the prisoner of the owner of the
goods stolen until such tune as satisfaction should be
given for them.
Farnstein had been 'fouled' on the bill, but on
Forster's not delivering him up Carmichael expostu-
lated, and Forster replied with evident resentment.
This was at once noted by his followers, who backed
him by letting off a flight of arrows.
The Border minstrel in the well-known ballad thus
describes the sudden outbreak :
' Carmichael bade them speik out plainlie,
And cloke no cause for ill nor good :
The other, answering him as vainlie,
Began to reckon kin and blood ;
He raise, and raxed him where he stood,
And bade him match him with his marrows :
Then Tindaill heard them reason rude,
And they loot off a flight of arrows.
Then was there nought but bow and speir,
And every man pull'd out a brand ;
A Schafton and a Fenwick thare :
Gude Symington was slain frae hand.
The Scotsmen cried on other to stand,
Frae time they saw John Robson slain
What should they cry 1 The King's command
Could cause no cowards turn again.'
134 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
Again, one of the latest and probably the most
daring and celebrated Border exploit of all was con-
cerned with the violation of the assurance given at a
' day of trews/ This resulted in the famous breaking
into and taking out of Carlisle Castle in 1596 of
' Kinmont Will ' by the Lord of Buccleugh.
A Wardens' meeting had been arranged at ' the
Dayholme of Kershope' for the Western March of
England by Lord Scrope, and for Liddesdale by Sir
William Scott, the Laird of Buccleugh, the Keeper,
who had been raised to the footing of a Warden by
The business had been concluded, and the various
parties departed amicably, in full assurance of the
truce, when sundry of the English as they rode by
the bank of the Liddel noted 'Kinmont Will,' an
Armstrong against whom they had many an old
complaint, ' riding on his ways with only three or
four in companie ' along the opposite bank.
This was an opportunity not to be missed ' the
chance of a lifetime ' and forthwith ' they brake a
chase of more than 200 men out of the English
trayne, chases the said Win. of Kininmouth more
than 3 or 4 myles, come to him, and take him
prisoner, bring him back to the deputie, thinking to
doe good service by the seizing of such an offender,'
and carried him away captive to Carlisle. Whereat
ETIQUETTE AND PRECEDENCE 135
Buccleugh, a proud and fierce young man himself,
as the Commissioners reported to Burghley, ' flagellum
Dei to his miserably distressed and oppressed neigh-
bours' was highly indignant, and, finding himself
unable to get redress from the opposite Warden, took
the law into his own hand, and headed a Warden's
raid into England to deliver ' Kinmont Will ' from
The famous ballad tells how the release was
effected, and concludes with a vivid picture of Lord
Scrope, the English Warden, standing in astonish-
ment by the river side watching the Scots * riding '
the flooded Eden on their triumphal return to
' All sore astonish'd stood Lord Scrope,
He stood as still as rock of stane ;
He scarcely dared to trew his eyes,
When through the waters they had gane.
He is either himsel' a devil frae hell,
Or else his mother a witch maun be ;
I wadna have ridden that wan water
For a' the gowd in Christentie.'
Queen Elizabeth, as every one will remember, was
so highly enraged at this attack upon her castle that
eventually King James acceded to her demand, and
reserved the treatment of Buccleugh and Cessford 1
1 This was Sir R Ker of Cessford, Warden of the Middle March, and
136 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
'the two firebrands of the March' to her single
Eventually Buccleugh, in default of his pledges,
delivered himself up to Sir William Selby, Master of
the Ordnance of Berwick, and Cessford later on
entered into ward with Sir Robert Carey, Deputy-
Warden of the East March, notwithstanding former
quarrels. ' Such traits,' as Sir Walter Scott points
out, 'illumine the dark period of which we treat.'
Yet this final agreement had only been brought off
after much negotiation long protracted and many
perils skilfully avoided.
Even at the meeting of the Commissioners to
exchange the pledges at the west ford of Norham
after Buccleugh had given himself up, 'one that
Sessford had appoynted, shotte of a pistoll, and
witheall the same man that shott the pistoll laye
downen alonge uppon his horse redey to fall of, and
creyed " Slay en, slayen " ; with that another creyed,
" Tresun, tresun " : whereuppon the fraye began, and
all ouer sogers on the fare seyd of the water shott to
or 3 voley of shott, but it was so darke, and they so
fare of as I thinke they did littyl harme ' so writes
John Carey to Burghley of Cessford's ' strategem,'
which might have resulted in slaughter, had it not
been for the readiness of Lord Home, who commanded
a large body of horsemen present there.
ETIQUETTE AND PRECEDENCE 137
Enough, however, has been said to show the
extreme difficulty in attaining justice, for when the
Wardens themselves broke the laws of the marches
why should an inferior not follow their example "?
' Quis custodiet ipsos custodes 1 '
138 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
THE WARDEN'S OWN COURT, OR CASES OF
' MARCH TREASON '
' He knew each ordinance and clause
Of Black Lord Archibald's battle laws
In the old Douglas' day.'
SCOTT, Lay of the Last Minstrd.
THE English Warden within his own march was like
a king of Israel during the absence of Elijah. He
had an absolute free hand in the sphere of * March
Treason/ for he could practically himself determine
what was March Treason and what not.
Thus Sir John Forster, replying to certain ' charges
exhibited' against him, cheerfully accepts that one
which states ' that he hathe caused diverse persons
to be indited arraigned and condempned in his owne
dwelling house, and thereupon put to execution and
theire lives taken from theme, not proclaiminge or
callinge a warden courte, accordinge to the lawe or
custome of the Borders.'
' He sayeth he hath doon as is mencioned, and
dothe avowe yt to be laweful by vertue of his commis-
sion, to be doon in any place within the wardenrie.'
MARCH TREASON 139
Lord Hunsdon was of a like way of thinking, and 'more
given to hanging than either hunting or hawking.'
The English Warden, then, had power of life and
death as he sat in his Court with his jury trying
cases of March Treason, but he was not supposed to
do the ordinary civil and criminal work of the judges
at the Assize and general gaol delivery, though he
seems to have apprehended thieves and malefactors
and sent them to the Assizes 1 for their 'justification.'
The ' use of March/ probably, would cover certain
irregularities in so rough a district, and a man taken
stealing * red-handed,' or ' in the manner,' as the
phrase ran, would pay the penalty of death at the
hands either of the sufferer or the Warden without
any trial at all. The difficulty of obtaining justice by
proper legal method may be illustrated by the follow-
ing episode :
The Lord Dacre in 1518 ' having arrested 10 of the
principal thieves of Redesdale, and having put them
in irons within the dungeon of Harbottle Castle, sent
for the gaoler and bailiff of the shire to convey them
1 At times, it appears, the Judges and Wardens sat together at a general
gaol delivery. Kalph, Lord Eure, an inexperienced Warden, writes thus
to Burghley : he desires a commission of gaol delivery and the assistance
of the Council of the North or the Judges, ' I desire to keep a Warden
court the next day following, for as it " toucheth life," I desire the assist-
ance of the "gravest" of the north, and their experience in justice, to the
terror of the wicked.' (Calendar of Border Papers, vol. ii.)
140 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
To prevent a rescue, Lord Dacre summoned his
Harbottle tenantry, to the number of eighty, to which
were added his own household servants. Setting out
from Harbottle the prisoners were safely conveyed as
far as Rothbury gate, where they were handed over
to the gaoler and his escort ; but the prisoners'
friends, the sturdy men of Redewater, being apprised
of the movement crossed the moors behind Simonside,
and overtaking the convoy at a straight path in
Rothbury forest, killed the bailiff and six of the
escort, took the gaoler and four of his men prisoners,
and having released their ten kinsmen fled for refuge
into Scotland. 1
In Scotland, however, the Warden's power of hold-
ing courts and administering punishment in his
Wardenry was much more limited ; in fact, ' March
Treason ' in the Scottish records is very rarely heard
1 ' THE HIGHLAND MEN OF EEDESDALE '
Lord Dacre in describing the event thus concludes : ' And yet that
notwithstanding the said Highelandes men of Riddesdale had suche espiell
and kepit them secrete and close. And at a strayt pathe mett my said
tennantes, and killed my ballif of Morpeth and other 6 persones his neigh-
bors, and took the gaoler and other iiij persons with hym and had them
into Scotland, where as yet the said gaoller and some other with hym sittes
in preson, whereof I have made conipleynte to the Wardain, and so to the
lordes of Scotland, and trustes to have remedie thereof. Ther is fled into
Scotland to the nomber of xxij of the principal persons and the residue
ar fledd into other partis where as yett they ar nott knowen of. And
diverse other persons that cam to this same effrey I have takin in upon
suyrties of ther good abering. And this is the verey troughe of the mattir.
' Thos. Lord Dacre to Wolsey, 23rd Dec. 1518, from Harbottle Castle.'
See Charlton's North Tynedcde, pp. 37, 38. (Carr, Newcastle-on-Tyne.)
MARCH TREASON 141
of. The offences comprised under this term, so
frequently used on the English Border, were doubtless
much the same in either country, but their punish-
ment rested in Scotland with the Sheriff Courts
and hereditary jurisdictions of the Barons or with
special Justiciars as is shown later in Part ii. of
Chapter xiu. appointed by the King. Thus ' March
Treason,' as it would have been called in England,
would probably have been termed in Scotland merely
' criminal causes.' * By an act of the Scottish Parlia-
ment in 1587 death was the penalty to be inflicted
on any Scots subject who married an Englishwoman
without licence under the Great Seal ; and again, by
an Act of 1523 a Scottish subject who received an
Englishman or woman was liable to suffer death, but
the penalty would not have been inflicted by a
Warden without a special commission.
On the other hand, in England these offences
would be punished by the Wardens, for according
to clause 2 in Mr. Bell's MS. it was March Treason
' if any Englishman hath married with any Scots-
woman or confederate in friendship, without the Lord
1 Clause v. of ' the order to be observed in the Stewart Court of Annan-
dale ' (Leges Marchiarum, Appendix ii. p. 190) runs as follows :
' Item, It is appointed, that all Criminal causes, sic as assisters with
England, Resetters of them and their goods, Committers of Murder, Fyre,
Kavishing of Women, Stouth, and sic like, to be committed to themselves,
and before all others to be taken order with, be an famous and unsuspected
Assize, according to the ancient Laws of this Kealme.'
142 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
Warden's license,' though it was not apparently
punished by the death penalty.
Balfour, again, in his Scots Practices says that it
was the Warden's duty to apprehend those who had
carried horses, nolt, sheep, etc., into England, and
' present them to the king's justice,' whereas the
English Wardens would have themselves tried equi-
valent cases and inflicted punishment in their own
It would seem that the code of ' March Treason '
supplemented the enactments of the Leges Mar-
chiarum, which were, as we have already seen in
Chapter v., in the first instance ' Truces and Abstin-
ences from War ' between the two kingdoms, so that it
may be said to be derived from a threefold source,
viz. from the Border Laws, 1 from any Acts of Parlia-
ment that dealt with the Border, as well as from the
various agreements entered into by the Wardens
1 In 1468 ' the statutes, ordinances and uses of marche ' were put in
order and writing, and sworn to by the Earl William Douglas and ' eldest
borderers at Lincluden. They had originally' been ordained in Black
Archibald of Douglas's day (viz. Sir Archibald ' the grim,' Earl of Douglas
and Warden of West March, who died in 1400), ' and Archibald his son's
days (viz., Archibald, fourth Earl of Douglas,' ' the Tyneman,' Lord Warden
General of all the Marches), in time of warfare. There are eighteen in all
of these early Border Laws, and they deal with disobedience to the Warden,
taking of prisoners, receiving of prisoners, ' intercommoning ' with English-
men, the sustaining of beacons, pursuit on firing the beacons, and so on.
These ' uses of Marche,' originally made for the Scottish Border, seem also,
or their equivalents, to have been accepted in England, for there is a copy
of them in Mr. Bell's MS. (the oft-mentioned west Warden's clerk in
Queen Elizabeth's reign). See History of Westmorland and Cumberland,
voL L p. xli.
MARCH TREASON 143
concerning Border rule, all of which the Warden's
clerk was supposed to be acquainted with. Mr. Bell
concludes his list of offences with this exhortation :
' And he that is Clerk of this Court must have
foresight and special regard, to search and learn, what
new laws, orders and statutes are made from time to
time, by any Act of Parliament, or at any day of
Marche, between the lords Wardens of England and
Scotland, concerning any law of Marches, or any
other cause inquirable in this court, and add the
same to his charge.'
These ' charges ' of March Treason ' appear to be
fourteen in number according to Bishop Nicholson's
order to keipe a Warden's Court,' as quoted in the
Leges Marchiarum, but in ' the order of keeping a
Warden Court in cases of March Treason,' set forth
by Mr. Richard Bell, the charges are set down as
twenty- three in number. 1
Fourteen of the clauses in the two sets of charges
are alike : the nine further charges given by Mr. Bell
deal with further acts of intercommuning between
Englishmen and Scotsmen, which are also, of course,
Certain of the offences might have been brought
up and dealt with at a ' Day of March ' or meeting
of the opposite Wardens, but doubtless it would
1 History of Westmorland and Cumberland, vol. i. pp. xxvi.-viii.
144 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
expedite justice to have them more swiftly adjudged
at the Court of March Treason of the English
Warden 1 or by the Sheriff or Stewart Courts in
Thus the sections 8 and 9 of the March Treason
code run as follows : ' Also, ye shall inquire, if any
Englishman hath attempted or done anything to the
breaking of the peace taken between the Queen's
Majesty and the Scots Queen, or the Commissioners
or Wardens, to the subjects or liegemen of the said
Scots Queen, as in killing any of them, assaulting,
forreying, or robbing any of them, within the realm
' Also, if any Englishman have murdered, assaulted,
affrayed, or robbed any Scotsman within the realm of
England, coming in by the authority of the safe-
conduct of the said Lord Warden, his deputy or
The clauses of March Treason in general, then, are
concerned with the intercommuning and dealing with
Scotsmen to the prejudice of the march under the
governance of the English Warden. They are all
given in Burn and Nicholson's introduction to their
1 THE WARDEN'S OWN COURT
The Keeper of Tynedale appears also to have held a subordinate Court
of his own, for it is stated in the ' view ' of Sir Robert Bowes in 1541 that
' At the said Warke (in Tynenale) ys there a courte or lawe daye kepte at
such tymes as the kep' of Tynedale doth appoynte the same.'
MARCH TREASON 145
History of Westmorland and Cumberland, see
pp. xxvi. -xxviii.
Usually about a fortnight before a Warden Court
was held ' Monicion and warning ' would be given
thereof ' by proclamation, throughe all the marketts
within the marches where the said Warden Court is
to be kept, that all gentlemen, freeholders, officers,
and headsmen borderers, should be attendant at the
said Warden Courte (speciallye such as be bounde to
appear at the same or that have any matters of
complaint to be ordered there).'
The Court being assembled, the proceedings were
as follows :
' The Warden Serjeant to make an Oyez, pronounc-
ing the words following :
' All men keep silence, and hear the Queen's Majesty's
commission of Wardenry read.
1 After the commission is read, the Warden Serjeant
must return his precept with the panel.
' That done, call, All gentlemen that be summoned to
serve the Queen's Majesty in this court, come and make
your appearance, and every man answer to your
names at thejirst call.
' Then, when as many have appeared as will form a
jury, give them the oath : first to the foreman in the
words following, "Ye shall truly inquire, and true pre-
sentment make of all things that shall be given unto
146 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
you in charge: the Queen's counsel, your fellows, and
your own, you shall keep and not disclose. So help
you God at his holy dome"
' Then call the rest to the book, by four at once or
more, giving them their oath in this wise :
' " Heard you the oath your foreman hath taken : all
such oath as your foreman on his behalf hath made,
you and every one of you on your behalf shall make.
So help you God"
' Then say aloud :
' " Gentlemen that be sworn, come near and hear
'Then read them the charge distinctly as follows.'
(Here follows the first clause, dealing with treason-
able intercourse with the inhabitants of the opposite
' Ye shall inquire of March treason, that is to say,
where any Englishman trists or intercommuneth or
bringeth in any Scotsman to come into the realm, in
time of peace or war, to do any slaughter, to burn, to
rob, steal, or do any other offence within the realm.'
When the charge had been read through by the
Lord Warden, the jury would go apart whilst another
Oyez was made, calling :
' All men that have any complaint or bills concern-
ing matters triable in this Warden Court, come and
put them in, and ye shall be heard.'
MARCH TREASON 147
Then recognisances were to be called and sureties
taken ; the jury return with their bills.
The prisoners are brought to the bar and addressed
by the Warden :
'A. B., thou art here indicted, for that thou, etc.'
(here the indictment is read).
' How sayest thou by this March treason, art thou
guilty, or not guilty ? '
If he pleaded not guilty he was to be tried ' By
God and the Country.'
He is then confronted with the jury and asked
what he could say for himself.
Another Oyez is now made, and the Warden
addresses his jury :
' Gentlemen that be sworn for delivery betiveen the
Queen's majesty and the prisoners at the bar, come
near and hear your charge.
' Your charge is, to inquire and find, whether A. B.
prisoner at the bar be guilty or not guilty of the
March treason he standeth indicted and arraigned of,
and whether he be fled upon the fact done or not, and
if you find him guilty, then what lands, goods, and
tenements he was seized of at the committing of the
said treason or Jlying, in the shire or elsewhere within
the realm, and of what value they were.'
Then follows a call for any man who will give
evidence for the Queen's Majesty. If the jury find
148 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
the prisoner guilty the Lord Warden calls him by
name, and, bidding him hold up his hand, thus
addresses him :
'Forasmuch as thou A. B. hast been indicted of
March treason, and thereupon arraigned, and pleaded
not guilty, and put thyself upon God and the country,
and they have found thee guilty : wherefore this court
doth accord thou shalt be had hence unto the place
from whence thou came, and from thence to the place
of execution, and there to have thy head smitten from
thy body according to the law of the Marches'
The Warden then commands his officers to ' see
execution done upon these persons, according to the
law of Marches, at your peril/
Then the Lord Warden might, if it pleased him
(and we can imagine one possessed of ' a port or a
presence' or a good voice being much pleased with
the opportunity), ' exhort the prisoner in this wise :
or let some godlie man instruct theym.' The follow-
ing exhortation is taken from Bishop Nicholson's
Leges Marchiarum :
' Ye that are adjudged by ordre of Lawe of this
Realme to dye, remember that ye have but a short
tyme to leve in this world : therefore Earnestly call
to God, with penytent harts, for Mercye and Forgive-
ness of your Synnful Lyves : repent ye have broken
God's commandment, and be sory therefor : and for
MARCH TREASON 149
that ye did not feir the bretche and dangers of the
Lawes, therefor, youer bodies must suffer the paynes
of Death, provided to satisfye the rewarde of your
fact in this world : yet the Salvation of youer Saulles
healthe, for the world to come, stands in the great
mercye of Almightie God : wherefor do ye earnestly
repent, and ask mercye for yower synnes, now when
ye are levynge, put yower trust to be savede by the
merits of Grists passion ; and think in youer harts yf
ye wer able to recompense theme ye haive offendit, ye
wold do it : and where yowe are not able, aske for-
giveness ; Have such faithe in god's mercye as
Dismas the thefe and man murderer hade that hung
at Grists right hand, when he suffrede his passion for
the redemption of mankynde : whos faith was so great
he shoulde be saved, his synnes wer remytted, tho he
had but short time of repentance, and he enjoyede
( Therefor despayr not in God's mercye, tho yower
sinnes be great, for God's mercye excedith all his
workes. Set apart all vanities of the World, and
comfurth yowe in hevynlye things ; and doubt not but,
yf ye so doe, ye shall inheryt everlasting joy in the
kingdom of Hevyn. And thus I commytt yowe to the
mercye ofGode, wishinge yower deathes may be exemple
to all Parynts to bring up theyr childre in the Feyr
of Gode, and obidience of the Lawes of this realme.'
150 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
After which instruction the prisoner was taken
from ' the Barre,' and the Court was adjourned by
the Lord Warden.
' All manner of men that have more to do at this
Court, before my Lord Warden : keip yower day here
upon a new warnynge; and so for this tyme depart in
Gods peace and the Queues.
' God save the Quene.'
From the foregoing it would appear that death was
the penalty in every case of March Treason, but
apparently in later times this was only inflicted for
the graver offences of felony.
Indeed, that death could not have been the invari-
able penalty for March Treason is proved by the fact
that Sir Robert Bowes gives ' another forme for
offences which be not punishable by deathe,' the form
of indictment seeming to vary in this event and to
be without the words proditorie and contra pacem
Dominae Regis et leguntiam suam. The instance he
gives is of an Englishman intercommuning with a
Scotsman and selling him a ' horse coloure baye con-
trary e to the lawes and statutes of this realme of
England and his dutie of obedience to the same.'
According to the apocryphal story of Lord William
Howard of Naworth (Sir Walter Scott's 'Bauld
Willie,' who yet was never a Warden), that gentle
and studious nobleman was horrified to see the corpse
MARCH TREASON 151
of a moss-trooper swinging from a tree beside the
Bailey as he went forth to take the air, and still more
to be informed that his testy exclamation, ' Oh, hang
him ! ' on being interrupted in his studies had been
literally applied to the corpus vile before his eyes.
The majority of Lord Wardens would have cordially
agreed with Lord Braxfield that a Border pricker or
moss-trooper would be ' nane the waur of a hanging,'
and would have often anticipated by their deeds the
Border Law of 1596, that ran as follows :
' The most sufficient and discreet Borderers ' of the
marches of either realm are to ' make diligent enquiry
and tryal of all notorious thieves and robbers within
their Wardenry.' A copy is then to be handed to the
Warden, ' who shall, upon the first attempt that shall
be truly tryed and fyled upon ane of them hereafter,
put the said offender immediately to death.'
152 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
THE ORDER OF THE DAY AND NIGHT WATCHES ' END-
LONG THE BORDER ' FROM CARLISLE UNTO BERWICK
1st Watchman. Watcher at the ford, your streams run low,
Did any rider cross ? Did any go
Your way beneath the moon 1
2nd Watchman. The moon is young. I saw the crescent stoop
Till imaged in the pool her silver loop,
No more she set too soon.
1st Watchman. Watcher, heard you at the strait no sound
Of feet that stumbled on the stony ground,
Where one might take the hill ?
2nd Watchman. I heard the water wash among the weeds,
A hunting otter rustled in the reeds,
Naught else the night was still.
1st Watchman. The night was still, I rode beside the stream.
Heard you no cry ? I saw a lanthorn gleam,
For what searched you the wood ?
2nd Watchman. There screamed some vermin tangled in a snare,
It was a thieving fox that I found there,
And flung him to the flood.
1st Watchman. Watcher, where you marked the drift-wood ride
The flood, saw you naught else go down the tide ?
At dawn the spate rose high.
2nd Watchman. Above this ford you know the haughs are green,
And many cattle graze. I may have seen
A foundered steer go by.
THE DAY AND NIGHT WATCHES 153
IF any one were in doubt as to the perpetual unrest
upon the Border he need but turn to the ' Orders of
the Watches' upon the West, Middle and East
Marches made by the Lord Wharton, Lord-Deputy
General of all the three Marches, under my Lord of
Northumberland's Grace, Lord Warden General of all
the said Marches, in the month of October, in the
sixth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King
Edward VL, for therein he will note that the
entire line of the Border was to be watched both
night and day. In the day-time the watches were
set upon the heights so as to guard the various tracks
or passages ; at night the fords over the various
rivers were chiefly guarded. Any ' true men known,
and that proved ' coming within those waters are to
be allowed to depart ; if unknown, they are to be
brought to the ' Baylifs and Constables to be tryed.'
There, if not ' labouring in their true and lawful
business/ they are to be sent to gaol, and finally tried
by the General, the Deputy Warden, or by the Jus-
tices of Peace of these counties. (Leges Marchiarum.)
These watches were ' to begin the first night of
October, and to continue unto the sixteenth day of
March : and the same sooner to begin, or longer to
continue at the discretions of the General, or of the
Deputy Warden for the time being.'
The night watch had ' to be set at the Day-going,
154 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
and to continue unto the Day be light ; and the Day
watch, where the same is, to begin at the Daylight,
and to continue unto the Day be gone. And, if any
Person or Persons disobey any of the said Watchers,
Baylifs, Constables, Setters, Searchers, or Overseers,
in, or for the execution of the said Watch, in any
manner of wise : he or they so disobeying to be
brought to the king's Highness gaol, there to be
punished at the discretion of the General, or of the
Deputy -Warden for the time being, where such
offence shall be done.'
The Borderers were said to be without any know-
ledge of the Sixth and Eighth Commandments, and
when they prayed as Bishop Lesley assures us they
commonly did before running their ' forays ' cattle
rather than ' daily bread ' would be the object of
their desire. It will be noted that the watches were
only set during the winter months ; but even during
spring and summer, when ' trade was slack ' and they
turned to pasturing their cattle about their ' shiels '
on the hill-tops, there was constant danger of ' nowt,'
sheep, nags or goats disappearing, and of ' the fray '
being brought to the door of the quiet householder.
Yet there was a distinct respite during these months,
and the inhabitants must have been glad to be quit
of the weary and dangerous duty of guarding by day
and night the passages and fords along the Border.
THE DAY AND NIGHT WATCHES 155
This was no light duty that the inhabitants of the
various townships had to perform, and the 'setters
and searchers of the watch,' who were the gentry of
the immediate countryside, had to see that the
watchers duly performed their watch and ward, under
pain of being themselves fined for neglect.
Thus endlong the Border the ward and watch were
set chosen from the members of each township
guarding passage and track, water and ford through
the twenty-four hours. Two men usually formed the
watch ; and as they stood, grumbling and cheerless, in
the dark night, a voice might suddenly hail them, and
two searchers might ride up to make a hasty in-
spection, and return through the sleet of a winter's
storm to their warm inglenook within their Pele
towers. Further, there was an overseer sometimes as
well, and every energetic land serjeant or Warden's
officer or 'King's Highness Servant' would be in-
terested in seeing that the watches were duly kept.
Thus at Cryssopford, for example, the four watchers
there might at any time during a winter night be in
danger from a sudden raid from Liddesdale. Per-
haps the Elliots or Armstrongs would be riding to
avenge a ' deadly feud,' or the Robsons of Tynedale to
' learn them ' a lesson in manners, and impress on their
memory that the ' next time gentlemen came to take
their sheep they were no to be scabbed.' Then again
156 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
beside the Earl Seat the two shivering watchers
might be swiftly set upon by a plump of Scots under
the leadership of Buccleugh (the ' flagellum Dei ' as
the Commissioners reported him to Burghley), who
might be coming to demand his sword, which the
Charltons kept at Hesleyside Tower. They stood in
almost as many perils as St. Paul, these watchers,
since for any shirking in the fighting which was
dangerous enough in itself they were liable to the
penalty of ' March Treason,' viz. a heading or hanging
at the Lord Warden's hand. Lest, however, the
modern should revolt over the barbarousness of the
past, we must remember that even in our own day
the police have to keep watch and ward throughout
our towns, and that every night coastguardsman
meets coastguardsman along the length of our coast.
Human nature remains much the same throughout
the ages. Thieves have gone from the countryside
and now congregate in the towns.
An interesting point as to these watchers and
searchers, who are individually named by Lord
Wharton in his ' Orders of the Watches,' is that their
descendants still inhabit the same district, so that if
unhappily the same necessity still existed the same
names would often appear in the Warden's lists.
For example, ' in the order of the Day Watch for
North Tyndaill ' it is ordered that, ' The inhabitants of
THE DAY AND NIGHT WATCHES 157
the Newtons, Charlton-yaite, Charlton, Langhaughe,
the Redyns, Ryding, the Shaw, and [Billingham]
Bellingham shall watch at the Whythughe with 2
men in the Watch : William Charlton of Billingham,
and John Robson, to be Setters and Searchers of that
watch'; and any one reading this and being acquainted
with North Tynedale will recognise in the names of
the setters and searchers two representatives of the
' four graynes ' of old time who still flourish about
Bellingham in the twentieth century.
This Lord Wharton the organiser of the watch
and ward was one of the Tudor ' new men ' who swept
with a hard besom ; and it is with a sort of Roman
military precision that he parcelled out the Southern
Border into its day and night watches along its
entire length. Not only are the watchmen, as well
as the 'setters and searchers/ specified by name
throughout, but letters were written by him to the
chief gentry ' to see and cause the watch to be set,
searched and kept in due order, as particularly in
every charge hereafter appeareth/
One set of his letters given from the castle of
Carlisle ran as follows :
' After my hearty commendation, I doubt not but you
see the watches surely set and kept from unto in
such form as the same heretofore hath been accustomed,
and by open proclamation commanded; nevertheless,
158 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
for the better execution, and that none offenders therein
shall have none excuse for lake of warning, I shall
require you on the Kings Majesties behalf, to give such
notice and knowledge to all the Townshipps through
the said Watches, as they may be most surely kept at
their perils, least by privy search the fault be found,
which will run to the extreme punishment of the
offenders, according to the Kings Highness Laws.
* Fail you not thereof, as ye tender his Majesties
pleasure, and the commonwealth of his graces subjects,
and heartily fare you well'
As Captain of Carlisle and Warden of the West
March, then as Deputy- Warden General of the three
Marches, and finally as Warden of the Middle and
Eastern Marches to which he had been transferred
owing to a 'deadly feud' with the Maxwells for hanging
their ' pledges ' he had an unrivalled experience of
There is also given in the Appendix to the Leges
Marchiarum a further copy of ' Letters from my
Lord Wharton, for search of the said watches upon
the Middle Marches ; with the Kalendar of the
Gentlemen Searchers and their several Circuits/
given from the ' Castle of Alnewyke/
Again, there is a copy of several commissions * of
his to certain gentlemen for the damming and
stopping sundry Fords and Passages upon the waters
THE DAY AND NIGHT WATCHES 159
of South Tyne, North Tyne, Reyd and other waters
and passages by land in Northumberland.'
Finally, in the same book is also a copy given of
his instructions for inclosings and hedgings within
the limits and bounds of Northumberland, with the
several circuits and the names of the gentlemen put
in trust for the execution of the same ; this was for
' the advancement of his Highness' Service and the
preservation and commonwealth.'
This seems not to have been carried out save on the
Western Border the time was not ripe yet for such
peaceful ideals but various suggestions in his final
survey of the three marches to his superior, the Lord
Warden General, Northumberland, doubtless bore
It is evident, therefore, how thorough Lord Wharton
was in his office, and it is highly interesting to read
through these orders of his for the various watches,
for you will encounter at the various fords, passages
and crags many well-known ' names/ and meet among
the 'setters and searchers' representatives of many
ancient families. The extreme Western March seems
to have been in the charge of the Barony of
Burgh, Cardronocks watching to Bowness, Bowness
to Glasson, and Glasson to Drumburgh, etc. ; but the
orders start with, ' Beginning at the foot of Levin,
and so up, Esk to Liddisdaile: in Esk, 8 several
160 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
Watches to be appointed, and in every watch 2
At Bamburgh the order of the watch for the East
Border ends thus, ' The Town of Bamburge keeping
watch with 2 men nightly, and to watch between
Hoppen and Luckerford,' the day watch finishing JLt,
Carham, ' Charram, to watch Chillaw with one man
on the day.'
There were yet ' Watches alongst the water of
Tyll' and the 'Water of Twede ' to be enumerated,
and finally thirty-nine fords on the water of Tyll,
' which the tenants of the foresaid Townes will
damm and stop, because they are not able to watch
' Plump ' Watches are also occasionally mentioned
in connection with keeping order throughout the
country, though the term is not used in the Leges
Marchiarum. A ' plump watch ' (cp. a ' plump of
spears,' a ' plump shower ') would seem to have been
an extraordinary watch, set when the country was
especially disturbed, and consisting of a considerable
number of men, viz. forty, as in those set by Edward
Gray, Constable of Morpeth, who wrote as follows
to the Warden (Lord Eure) concerning the outrages
of ' house thieves on forraine borderers ' : he had
arranged for ' the plump watch in 7 places to be
kept by as many gentlemen of the ward and att
1 B K R N I C V M
mmmmi^^f*"? r?*^mmm**~*~- S *-^- . .
II. MAP OF CUMBERLANE
THE WESTERN MARCH.
THE DAY AND NIGHT WATCHES 161
every place everie leader to chouse oute XL men out
of his divisyon.' 1
Again, William Selby the elder, writing to William
Selby the junior, says, ' None of your friends dare lie
in their beds at night, but hide themselves in the
fields, except such as lie in towers' on account of
Cessford's harryings ' I then desired Sir Robert
[Carey, the Warden] to make the countrie keep
"plump watches," but nothing was done.' 2
. . PART II
THE ROUTES OF THE RANK-RIDERS, OR
PATHS OF THE RAIDERS
' They rode the moon out of the sky,
Their hoofs drummed in the dawn.'
Reparabit cornua Phoebe, the motto or slogan of
the Scotts, would be eagerly repeated by their
followers when the Michaelmas moon that was to
dower their daughters showed golden upon the
Now to ride by the light o' the moon across the
wastes and flows of the moors and grass lands is no
easy undertaking, and the first requisite is an entire
knowledge of the tracks that run dark and devious
1 Calendar of Border Papers, vol. ii. p. 452. 2 Ibid., TO! ii. p. 213.
162 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
amongst the heather, and through the peaty bogs,
where often indeed the only safety lies in dismounting
and leading your horse by the bridle, even as Hobbie
Noble of old according to the ballad.
' He has guided them o'er moss and muir,
O'er hill and hope, and mony a down ;
Until they came to the Foulbogshiel,
And there, brave Noble, he lighted down.'
In an interesting leaflet (No. 287) of the Historical
Association on ' Some Influences of the Geography of
Northumberland upon its History,' it is sought to
show that the routes taken by the forayers of old
were largely chosen out of geographical considerations.
Thus a ' Raider's Line ' is given as from Carham on
the Tweed to Chollerford via Harbottle. Doubtless
for an army equipped with ordnance good roads, and
passes, and gaps through the hills are of first import-
ance, but the raiders on their little horses, and
knowing the moors very well, were able to ' run their
raid' and 'drive their prey' by tracks right across the
Though these raiders seem to have come from all
quarters, as evidenced by the fact that all the high
ground was watched during the day, and the fords at
1 The writer was once advised by a well-known Borderer, in the event of
his not knowing his way from one place to another, to ' keep always the
crown of the hill,' which experience has shown to be very good advice.
ROUTES OF THE RAIDERS 163
night, yet, doubtless, there were certain favourite
places where the marchmen ' most did congregate.'
Thus Bewcastle dale and Spade Adam ' waste '
were open spaces where the 'spate' of Scottish
' Hobilers ' came pouring through. Lord Dacre wrote
to Cardinal Wolsey in 1528 as follows :
'Like it also your grace, seeing the disordour
within Scotland, that all the mysguyded men,
Borderers of the same, inhabiting within Eskdale,
Ewsdale, Walghopedale, Liddesdale, and a part of
Tividale foranempst Bewcastledale and a part of
the Middle Marches of this the King's Bordours,
enters not this West and Middle Marches, to do any
attemptate to the King our said soveraine's subjects ;
but thaye come thorow Bewcastelldale, and retornes,
for the most parte, the same waye agayne.'
Again, take the following passage from Musgrave's
report on the Border riders to Burghley in 1583 and
you will find another route given for Liddesdale.
' When Leddisdall people make anie invacions to the
Fenwickes, they goe without (viz., outside, or east of)
Bewcastell xi or xii myles, and goe by the Perlfell
without the Horses heade nere Kelder, and so alonge
'When they goe to the water of Tyne (viz., the
South Tyne), they goe by Kyrsopp head, and without
the gele Crage, and by Tarnbek and Bogells gar and
164 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
so alonge by the Spye Crage, and the Lampert, and
come that waye/
Again, as Sir John Selby writes to Burghley a few
years later the Liddesdale men rode also into the
East March 'These Liddesdale men are the most
disordered of all the Border, they come in great
bands through Tevedall and the Marc (Merse) into
these East marches, and return with their booty
quietly the same way, without resistance, for they
have no warden to answer for them by Border Law.'
There was an old Border proverb concerning the
men that dwelt within ' the swyres ' of the Liddel,
which was evidently drawn from bitter experience,
for ' to ride night and day like the Liddesdale men '
was a common expression.
There were along the Middle March alone no fewer
than forty-four ' passages and byeways for the theefe,'
as you may read in No. 853, Calendar of Border
Papers, 1597, wherein is set forth a ' breafe of the
bounders wayes and passages of the Middle Marche
all along the border of Scotland, beginning att
Chiveat hill being the lemyet of the Easte Marche
and ending att Kirsop the bounder of the West
Marche of Englande.'
BALES AND BEACON FIRES 165
BALES AND BEACON FIRES
' Et insuper ad signa, vocata Bekyns, in locis consuetis, per quae gentes
Patriae de adventu inimicoruin proditorum et rebellium praedictorum
congruis temporibus possunt praemuniri, poni et supervideri ac separari et
emendari faciendum.' RYMEB, Foedera.
' As stars arise upon the night,
They gleam'd on many a dusky tarn,
Haunted by the lonely earn ;
On many a cairn's great pyramid,
Where urns of mighty chiefs lie hid ;
Till high Dunedin the blazes saw,
From Soltra to Dumpender Law ;
And Lothian heard the Eegent's order,
That all should bowne them for the Border.'
SCOTT, The Lay of the Last Minstrel.
THE watches were set along the English Border
between Berwick and Carlisle, but the Scottish watch
and ward extended far to the west of this, stretching
into Annandale, whilst bale fires were to be lit even
as far west as Gallow Hill in Moffat parish. In the
earliest code of the ' statutes, ordinances, and uses of
March' (temp. 1468), mentioned in Chapter VIL, the
beacons are named and their sustentation enjoined.
Again, we read in the Appendix to the Leges
Marchiarum that the ' ane wise stout man ' who kept
the House of Howdam has ' assuredly to take heed,
166 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
that the watch-house of Trailtrow be keeped by the
watch thereof: and in time of warfare, the Beaken,
as is devised, that is even in Weir, and in Peace, the
watch to be keeped on the House-head and in the
Weir, the Beacon in the Firepan to be keeped and
never faill burning, so long as the Englishmen remain
in Scotland ; and with ane Bell to be on the Head of
the Firepan, which shall ring whenever the Fray is,
or that the watchman seeing the thieves disobedient
come over the water of Annand, or thereabout, and
knowes them to be enemies : and whosoever bydes
fra the Fray, or turns again so long as the Beaken
burns, or the Bell rings, shall be holden as Partakers
to the enemies, and used as Traitors to the Head
Burgh of the Shyre, upon the Court day, and there-
after intimation made in the Parish Kirk, and
published on ane Sunday, in presence of the People,
and fra thenceforth to be used as a fugitive, and
And in 1587 an act of the Scottish Council orders
the lieges to ' keip watch nycht and day, and burne
bailies acording to the accustomed ordour observit at
sic tymes upon the bourdouris.'
In England bale fires or beacons were ordered by
Edward I. to be ready prepared against and instantly
lit on the approach of the Scots to the county of
Lancaster. His precept to the Sheriff of Lancaster
BALES AND BEACON FIRES 167
runs thus : ' Praecipimus etiam tibi, quod super
cacumina parari facias cumulos lignorum et tur-
bonum, ut cum alicui parti comitatus de adventu
Scotorum constiterit, statim rogos et cremationes de
illis lignis et turbonibus faciant pro universali prce-
munitione dicti Comitatus.'
This is given in the Appendix to the Leges
MarcJiiarum, and is taken from the records of
Edward I. It is also said that similar instructions
were sent to the Sheriffs of Northumberland, West-
moreland and Cumberland, ' consimili modo, man-
datum est Vicecomiti Northumbriar, Westmere.
Cumbr.' At a later date the places specially
appointed for beacons were, in Cumberland Black-
comb, Boothill, Mulcaster Fell, St. Bees Head,
Workington Hill, Moothay, SJciddaw, Sandale Top,
Carlisle Castle, Lingy Close Head, Beacon Hill,
Penriih, Dale Raughton, Brampton Mote and
Spadeadam Top ; and in Westmoreland, upon the
top of Stanemore, Orton Scar, Farleton Knot, Whin-
fell Fell, and Hardknot.
On the East March of Scotland beacons were
maintained according to a statute in 1455, as Sir
Walter Scott writes in the Border Antiquities, at
' Hume Castle, at the Tower of Edgerhope, or
Edgerstane, near the source of the Jed, upon the
ridge of the Soltra Hills, at Dunbar, Dunpender (or
168 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
Trapraine) Law, North Berwick Law, and other
eminences : and their light was a signal for the
Scottish forces to assemble at Edinburgh and
Haddington, abandoning to waste and pillage all
the southern counties/
On the West March of Scotland ' the Beacons to
be sustained ' are set down as follows : ' It is found
statute and used in time of warfare, with respect to
bails burning and keeping, for coming of an English
host into Scotland, there shall a bail be burned on
Trailtrow-hill, and another on the Penchat-Tiill, and
on the Bail-hill above the Hame-ends, one on the
Cowdens above Castlemilk, one on Quitsoun, one on
Drysdail, and on the Burraw Skenton in Applegarth
parish, one on the Browan Hill, and one on the Bleis
(Blaze Hill) in the tenement of Wamphray, one on
the Kindol-Jcnok in the tenement of Johnstoun, one
on the Gallow Hill of Moffat parish, and 5 in Nithis-
dale, one on the Wardlaw, one on the Rahachtoun,
one on Barloch, one on the Pittane hill, one on the
Malow hill, one on Corswinton, one on the Cor sell, one
on the fell above Dowlbark, and one on the Watchfell :
and to cause these bails to be kept and made, the
Sheriff of Nithisdale, the Stewart of Annandale, and
the Stewart of Kirkcudbright in Galloway shall be
debtors : and who so keepeth not the bails, shall pay
for each default one mark.'
BALES AND BEACON FIRES 169
The crests of all the high hills on either side were
thus furnished with their beacons, which would
unfurl upon the midnight sky
'The blood-red flag
All flaring and uneven.'
In the year 1588 the sentinel upon Carlisle Castle
might well doubt, as he caught sight of the ' red glare
of Skiddaw,' whether it were the advent of Spain
that was being heralded or only that of ' t'oald
enemy,' Scotland, but if, as he stood doubting, his
eye could catch the prospect of smaller flames lighting
like glow-worms the nearer leas and fells, he would
conclude, with a sigh of relief, that it was only Scot-
land, and rejoice that he at least was safe within the
walls of ' merry Carlisle,' and so himself be safe from
As on a day of jubilee the beacons flash their
joyous message from hill-top to hill- top throughout
the land, so in time of war did the bale fires foretell
with fiery tongue the coming of ' the fray/ which was
repeated from mountain to hill, from hill to Pele
Tower, and from Pele to hamlet, throughout the
centuries of Border war. For we read that in
1570 an order was issued to the Wardens of the
East and Middle Marches of England by the Earl of
Sussex, Lord President of the Council of the North,
as follows :
170 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
' Everie man that hath a castle or a tower of stone
shall, upon everie fray raysed in the night, give
warning to the countrie by fire in the topps of the
castle or tower in such sort as he shal be directed
from his warning castle, upon paine of 3s. 4d.'
' They watch, to hear the bloodhound baying :
They watch, to hear the war-horn braying ;
To see St. George's red cross streaming,
To see the midnight beacon gleaming ;
They watch, against Southern force and guile,
Lest Scroop, or Howard, or Percy's powers,
Threaten Branksome's lordly towers,
From Wark worth, or Naworth, or merry Carlisle.'
SCOTT, The Lay of the Last Minstrel.
THE 'NAMES/ 'GRAYNES' AND CLANS 171
THE VARIOUS * NAMES/ ' GRAYNES ' AND CLANS IN-
HABITING THE MARCHES OF EITHER REALM
' The Scot and Ker the mid Border did possess,
The Humes possest the East, and the Johnstons the West ;
With their adjacent neighbours, put the English to more pains,
Nor half the North, and all three Lothians.'
CAPTAIN SCOT OF SATCHELLS,
History of the Name of Scot.
ON the Scottish Border the clan system was more in
evidence than on the English side, blood relationship
to a remote degree being acknowledged in Scotland
by the head of the family far more readily than in
England. This may be said to hold good even at the
present time in the Highlands, and probably the
reason for it was the wildness of the country and the
frequency of fighting not only against the 'auld
enemy ' but amongst themselves to which the per-
fervidum ingenium Scotorum naturally lent itself on
occasion of ' deadly feud/
The Lord of Douglas in the time of his pre-eminence
is said usually to have ridden with a retinue of
1000 horse; the Scots could bring 500 men to the
field and the Kers as many as 3000.
In the Raid of the Beidswire, it is true, we read of
172 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
'500 Fen wicks in a flock,' but as a general rule the
names or ' graynes ' in England were neither so
numerous, nor so powerful, nor so homogeneous as
the clans in Scotland, for the English throne, as
was pointed out in an earlier chapter, was the more
firmly established, and after the Wars of the Roses
could tame any rebellious baron without difficulty,
so that the king rather than the chieftain was in
England the bond of union.
As to the clans inhabiting the Western Border of
Scotland, Edward Aglionby writes to Burghley in
1592 (Calendar of Border Papers) as follows :
' The countrie of Annendale [Annandale] is stronge
by theire great and many surnames, as Maxwelles,
Johnstons, Armestronges, Irwaines, Bells, and
Carlelles (Carlyles, forbears of Thomas Carlyle).
Every which severall surname defende their owne.'
As for Liddesdale, ' it is the most offensive countrie
against both the West and Middle Marches. The
strength of this countrie consisteth in two surnames
of Armest ranges and Elwoodes [Elliots].
' Betwizt Eske and Sark dwelleth the surname of
Johnsons, called the Johnsons of Greatney.
' Above them dwelleth Kinmont and Armestronge,
and about him dwelleth an hundred able men all
Armestronges. About Kirtle is a surname of Irwyns,
a surname of proper men.
THE < NAMES,' < GRAYNES ' AND CLANS 173
' Above them is a great surname of Belles and
Carlilles, who hath bene longe in fede with the
In the north of Annandale dwell the Johnstones.
' Towardes the meetinge of Annan and the water
of Milk, and of both sides thereof all Loughwood,
dwelleth the Lard Johnson and c c c sufficient men
of his name.
'Towardes and above Dumfrize is the Lord
Maxwell and Lord Harrys [Heries], and a 1000
Mauxwelles under them. They have bene in fede
with the Johnsons theis many years, which is a
weakeninge of Scotland and a strength to England.'
Then for the English opposite march he gives the
following list :
' Upon both sides of the river Esk dwell the
Grames, which is the greatest surname att this daie
upon the Weste Border. For the Grames of Esk
and Leven are hable to make v c serviceable men.
Theire dwelleth also a surname of Storyes, but they
are sore decayed.
' Above Kirklinton dwelleth a great surname of
Fosters, and about Hethersgill is a surname of
'In Bewcastle, theire dwelleth Fosters, Crosers,
and Nixons, but sore decaied.
' In Gilsland is no great surname : the Belles is the
174 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
most. Theire is a surname of Milbournes and Hardens,
but they are not many/
' Brough. Theire is four surnames theire, Liddalles,
Glasters, Huntingdons, and Hodgesons, but theire
is not many of none of them.'
Musgrave and Salkeld. ' The greatest surname of
the gentlemen within the Wardenrie is Musgraves
Aglionby reports of Ewsdale, that ' they are a civil
people, and never ride in England ' ; and again of
Teviotdale, that 'it does never offend the West
Border,' but this is scarcely a certificate of character,
for Lord Scrope, the West Warden, a few years earlier,
gives in a note of ' the loosemen in the Middle Marche '
'300 gingles ' in Ewsdale ; and in East and West
Teviotdale, ' Trombles, Oily veres, Synsleves, Bobsons,
Davesons, Yonges, Burnes, Pringles 3000'; and
Carey, in writing to Burghley in 1598 concerning
the Middle March, says, 'Those of Tyvidale are all
great riders and the worst men in the country e.'
On the English side on the Middle March you will
find in North Tynedale the well-known ' 4 graynes '
of Charlton, Bobson, Dodd and Milburn ; in Bedesdale
there were Beeds and Halls (between whom there
was an ancient feud, see the ' Ballad of Parcy Beed),
Andersons, Hedleys and Potts ; while in Coquetdale
the Selbies, Clennells, Wilkinsons were the chief
names, though not numerous enough to found clans.
1K.'C\V , 4. N.V /.>./>.:/.>/.
Vulgo S O L W A Y
THE 'NAMES/ 'GRAYNES' AND CLANS 175
We may conclude this chapter with a list of the
' Names on the Marches ' taken from the Calendar of
Border Papers, under date July 1583.
' East Marches of England. Gentlemen Forsters,
Selbies, Graies, Strouders, Swiners, Mustians. Sur-
names Johnsons, Vardes, Ourdes, Wallisses, Stories,
Armestronges, Dunnes, Flukes.
' Scotland. Gentlemen Humes, Trotters, Brom-
feilds, Dixons, Crews, Crinstons.
' West Marches of England. Gentlemen Mus-
graves, Loders, Curwenes, Sawfelde. Surnames
Greames, Butliches, Armestrongs, Fosters, Nixons,
'Scotland. Maxwells, Johnsons, Urwins, Grames,
Bells, Carlills, Battison, Litles, Carrudders.
' Middle Marches of England. Gentlemen Ogeles,
Fenikes, Hernes, Withringtons, Medfords, Shafters,
Ridleis, Carnabies. Surnames (in) Ridsdale. Halls,
Hedleys, Andersons, Potts, Reades, Dunnes, Mil-
' Tindale Charletons, Dodds, Milbornes, Bobsons,
'Scotland. Gentlemen East Teviotdale. Carrs,
Yongs, Pringles, Burnes, Davisons, Gilleries, Tattes.
' Liddesdale Budderfords, Carrs, Dowglasses,
Trombles, Scottes, Piles, Bobsons, Halls, Olivers,
Ludlers, Armestrongs, Elwoods, Nixons, Crosiers,
176 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
THE PAYMENT OF THE WARDENS, KEEPERS AND
VARIOUS OFFICERS OF THE BORDERS
' Sir Henry Percy laye at the New Castelle,
I tell you withowtten drede :
He had byn a marsh-man all hys dayes,
And kepte Barwyke upon Twede.'
' The Battle of Otterbourne.'
THE various payments to the Wardens vary so con-
siderably that no definite stipend can be set down ;
the rate varied with the differing number of soldiers
assigned them and the varied allowances and escheats
provided for them. In 1527 the Earl of Angus had
100 for the East March, and 100 for the West
when Warden of the two marches.
The payment for the keeping of Liddesdale seems
high when we read of 500 being allowed on several
Thus though the Scots west Warden's fee was
sometimes no more than 100, the Warden in 1533
Lord Maxwell was receiving 100 per month for
the keeping of Hermitage Castle and ruling Liddes-
PAYMENT OF THE WARDENS 177
dale, and again five years later he is only receiving
106, 14s. 4d. for four months' keeping of Hermitage.
At various times a special governor or justiciar
was appointed for Liddesdale, as when Queen Mary
in 1551 made Sir W. Scott her governor there ; he
was no doubt a law officer rather than a keeper, and
was paid by the amercements and escheats, but it
appears that he was not allowed any paid soldiers.
' The Keeper,' or Captain, of Hermitage Castle was
the deputy of the Keeper of Liddesdale : his pay-
ment seems to have been '500 merks, with 5 chalders
of victual, the half of it barley, the remainder meal.'
He had also ' the mains of Hermitage and the keep-
ing of that Castle intrusted to his charge, where he
was bound to lodge prisoners and hold the fortress at
all times " patent " to the Sovereign or keeper of the
County for the time being.' See Armstrong, Liddes-
dale, p. 11, etc.
Berwick, as it was the most important charge upon
the Border, seems to have been liberally provided for.
The pay at Berwick for the whole garrison, officers,
and governor is given in the Border Papers for the
year 1593-4 as 14,420, 8s. 9jd., and in 1590 as
15,005, including payment of the mayor's fee, 10,
etc. Again, in 1557 the yearly pay at Berwick is set
down as 22,662, 19s. 2d. (p. 8).
' At Berwick for the old and new garrisons, Holy
178 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
and Feme Islands, 10 gunners at Carlisle, 1 master
gunner and his mate and 2 others at Wark.'
There was a further addition of 10,914, 4s. 6d.
for the ' Christmas quarter, captain and garrison at
Tynemouth, and 500 workmen, officers and others
left by Sir Richard Lee to remain all winter.'
Much has been said in reproach of Queen Elizabeth
for her parsimony, but when one notes the constant
drain upon her resources for the upkeep of the Border
garrisons, castle and wardens, her subsidies to King
James, her assistance to the Netherlanders, the
charges of her warfare with Spain, one will reflect
that without thrift and constant economies she could
never have kept any balance in hand in the Ex-
chequer, exhausted as it had been by the extrava-
gances of her father, Henry vui.
The governor's pay is said to have been 1500 in the
case of Lord Hunsdon, but this would seem to have
included the Governor's and Captain of Norham's fees
as well, which were separate charges ; at least it so
appears in the Book of Complaints or Tables of Abuses
presented unto Queen Elizabeth by the Mayor of Ber-
wick in 1592-3, inculpating Lord Hunsdon's govern-
ment and conduct. (Calendar of Border Papers.)
' Abuse 19 ' commences as follows :
'While formerly there were (1) a lord governor
keeping hospitality in the town, (2) a lord Warden
PAYMENT OF THE WARDENS 179
doing like in the Country, and (3) a captain of Nor-
ham entertaining gentlemen's sons, and keeping house
there, now these offices are joined in one man's
person, an absentee, who spends not one penny of
his interteignment and proffytes' above 1500 'in
this place, either by his self or others the marshal
serving the first place Sir John Selbee the second
and Captain Caree the third.'
The victualler of the garrison seems to have had
20s. per diem.
The marshal's fee was 33, 6s. 8d. per annum, the
under-marshal's 16, two tipstaves 5, 6s. 8d. each.
As to the garrison at Berwick, Captain Carey's pay
was 4s. per diem, his lieutenant's 2s., his ensign,
serjeant, and drum Is. each, while his men 100
received 8d. per lunar month. Sir William Rede
had the like pay and company; Captains Selby,
Carvell, Twyfurth, Tomson, Yaxley, Boyer had each
2s. per diem, whilst their companies of 50 men served
at 8d. per lunar month.
The horsemen seem to have had 8d. per diem,
and there were in addition gunners, artificers in the
ordnance, and sundry pensioners 73 who were
apparently usually selected by way of favour or
reward from the existing garrison.
Pay of the Treasurer (Mr. Robert Bowes) (Calendar
of Border Papers, vol. i. p. 368):
180 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
His fee was 260, but there were allowances both
ordinary and extraordinary, such as house rent,
postage money, 'fee upon the works/ allowance for
munition, etc., so that in all for 1590 the total comes
to 580, 3s. 4d.
The west Warden at Carlisle, on the other hand,
seems to have received much less than his brother
Warden on the east, for Lord Scrope had apparently
only 645, 9s. lOd. as his fee, from which, again, 300
marks have to be deducted for the fee of the Captain
of the Castle.
This is shown by Lowther's letter to Burghley in
1592. * I do fynde/ he writes, 'that the wholl fees to
the Lorde Scrope for the place amounted unto v j c.
XLVLv. IX s . X d . quad, all which I take to belonge
to the wardenry excepte 300 markes and the
growndes, which I know were the distinct fees to the
captain of the Castell and the Cyttie. The cittedell
is a separate chardge and the same with the fees
belonginge are graunted unto Mr. Dalston, who en-
joyeth the same. I do not of myselfe knowe, neither
can I learne whither the late Lorde Scrope had the
chardge of the municion and artillerie here distinctlie
for him selfe, or under the Master of the ordenaunces
1 The Wardenship of the Western March and Captaincy of Carlisle were
separate offices, though occasionally held by the same individual, but
PAYMENT OF THE WARDENS 181
By Queen Elizabeth's Commission in the fifth year
of her reign Lord Scrope's fee and wages are thus set
' And further ' (in addition to the usual appurten-
ances, liberties, commodities, advantages, profits,
and all other appendages) ' we grant to the said
Lord Scroope, for the exercise of the Wardenship
aforesaid : so long as in that office he shall remain,
the fee and wages of 600 marks by the year for him-
self, and his 2 deputies aforesaid, that is to say, for
either of them by the year 10, and also for the
said 2 officers called Warden Serjeants of the West
Marches, for either of them yearly 40s. during our
pleasure aforesaid : to be paid at the feasts of St.
Michael the Archangel and the Annunciation of the
Blessed Virgin Mary, by equal portions, out of our
treasury, at the receipt of our exchequer at West-
minster, by the hands of the treasurer and chamber-
lain, there for the time being.'
Elsewhere mention is also made of three porters at
26s. 8d. per annum each, of a trumpeter at 16 pence
per day, and a surgeon at 12 pence.
The 'usual appurtenances, liberties, commodities,
advantages, profits and all other appendages' men-
apparently were conjoined from the time of Queen 'Mary, for he further
writes, 'So as I cannot perceive that the 2 said offices were unyted by
graunte and patente untill in the time of Quene Marie.' (Calendar of
Border Paper t.)
182 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
tioned above as belonging to the Warden were
considerable, comprising tithe corn, fishing rights,
various stewardships, receipts from Crown lands and
so forth, inasmuch as the Warden was a chief officer
and representative of the Crown.
No doubt the Governorship of Berwick which
was, as Queen Elizabeth said, ' the chief jewel in her
crown ' and the Wardenship on the East March were
more important charges than the corresponding com-
mands on the West, for the former were more directly
concerned in any hostilities between the two king-
doms, whereas the latter had chiefly to protect the
country against the invasions of the Annandale thieves
and the invasions of the Armstrongs and Elliots from
the ' swyres ' of Liddesdale.
The fees of the Warden of the English Middle
March are given in the case of Sir John Forster
(appointed 1560), being set down in the Calendar of
Border Papers under date 1595.
' Grant of the office of Warden of the English
Marshes towards Scotland/ viz. 'in partibus de le
Myddle Marches ac in dominio Scocie, nenon custodie
de le Tynedale at Riddesdale/ ' to Sir John Forster
knight by the Queen's letters patent dated 4th Nov.,
2nd Eliz. with wages and fees of 300 yearly, also
10 each for two deputies under him in said marches,
and 40s. to each of two warden sergeants therein ;
PAYMENT OF THE WARDENS 183
all during Her Majesty's pleasure, payable yearly at
the feasts of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin
Mary and St. Michael Archangel by equal portions
in all 324. Also the said Warden's fee for keeping
the Castles of Tynedale and Ryddesdale, 26, 13s. 4d.
yearly. The fee of the said Sir John Forster as bailiff
and receiver of the issues, etc., of the barony of Bywell
and lordship of Bulbecke (parcel of the possessions of
the late Earl of Westmorland attained) 6, 7s.
yearly during pleasure, under the Queen's letters
patent of 12th July, 13 Eliz.'
Lord Eure, the Middle March Warden, who suc-
ceeded Sir John Forster, writes to the Queen in
'As the Warden must strengthen his own people
to his great charge, that her highness would increase
the fee of 500 formerly granted to Sir Wm. Eure
my great grandfather, my grandfather, to the Lord
Wharton, and my father, etc., to perfect the services,
and grant me "Styford demayne" and other things
which Sir John had by her gracious favour to better
his estate in service.'
He also craves the parsonage of Simonburn, which
his grandfather had, promising to keep a preacher
there, and also a house in Hexham to lie in with his
men if Sir John Forster's is not available. (Calendar
of Border Papers, vol. ii. p. 58.)
184 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
As for the fees of a Deputy- Warden, we find that
Sir John Widdrington, Deputy- Warden of the Middle
March in Henry vin.'s reign, received 183, 6s. 8d.,
and that the Keeper of Redesdale received 26,
13s. 4d., while for the similar office in Tynedale the
fee is given at 30, which seems to have been ap-
portioned as follows :
The steward, 6, 13s. 8d. The receiver, 6,
The bailiff, 13, 6s. 8d. The gaoler, 1, 6s. 8d.
Two Serjeants, 1, 6s. 8d., and the woodward,
There were other subordinate officials men of
standing in the countryside who seemed also to
have received fees with a view to helping to keep
order in the countryside. Thus, within the district
of Redesdale, John Hall of Otterburn received 10
in the time of King Henry vin., his duty being
apparently to assist the keeper in maintaining the
peace and bringing thieves to justice.
Finally, in Scotland, where, as will be shown in
Chapter XIIL Part ii., there were sundry local juris-
dictions and baronial rights, the warden-deputes and
stewards were sometimes paid by means of teinds
(tithes) and other such charges.
Thus in the Appendix, No. 2, of Leges Marchiarum
we read of the following grants or maintenances :
PAYMENT OF THE WARDENS 185
'The Laird of Howmaines, the Stewart Depute,
and therefore to have the Teynds of Smalholme
yearly, and the Laird of Newbie to the [be ?] Warden
Depute, and therefore to have 50 m. given him yearlie
of Drumdanane, as their tacks specifies at this present.
Therefore they to be called the Deputes with the
assistance of other famous and wise gentlemen of the
Countree of Annandale, as is needful.'
Also, of the maintenance of the Keeper of the
House of Howdam :
' This man to have ane rental given him of the hail
lands of Annandale, belonging to the Lord Maxwell,
and the house of Terregles, and to be Chamberlain to
their hail lands, and to uplift their hail dutys : and
that all men dwelling on the said lands serve with
him at all times, when they shall be charged.'
186 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
THE ORIGINAL OFFICE OF THE LORD WARDENS
' Lord Buckcleugh into the Scots Border
Was high Lord Warden, to keep them in good order ;
On that border was the Armstrangs able men,
Somewhat unruly, and very ill to tame.'
SCOT OF SATCHELLS,
History of the Name of Scot.
The Office of Guardian or Warden
GUARDIAN is, of course, the same word as Warden,
Gardianus in the Latin becoming Warden in English.
Yet Custos seems to have been an earlier term than
Gardianus, in regard to the marches, where, as Dr.
Hodgkin pointed out in his Creightonian Lecture,
' The Wardens of the Northern Marches,' the duty was
at first a military one, the Warden being the locum
tenens of the King. Custos implies the safe keeping
of some object or other committed to your charge,
but as in that age safe keeping involved fighting,
Gardianus a term more suggestive of warfare
came to be the name of the King's representative
on the marches.
Thus in its first signification the Wardenship of
the Marches meant the warding or keeping of
THE OFFICE OF WARDEN 187
Scotland, which Edward i. regarding that kingdom
as his own had determined wholly to subject
beneath him; but after the year 1328, when
Scottish independence was definitely recognised, the
Wardenship came to mean these three things the
warding of the Border country, whether by defence
or offence, the keeping of the Border Laws, and the
punishment of malefactors.
They held their power per baroniam, and against
them the King's writ did not run, whilst in their
administration of justice they were subject only to
Concerning the later duty of the Lord Warden,
Edward Aglionby, in a letter giving Burghley informa-
tion about the ' Severall charge of the West Borders of
England and Scotland ' in 1592 (Calendar of Border
Papers), writes as follows :
' The Warden hath charge as generall, in all affaires
under her Majestie for the lawes of Marches, according
to the ancient Border lawe, and severall newe treatisse.
His deputie is one of the Wardens owne appointinge,
who hath in charge all particular service, either for
defence of England, or offence of Scotland.
' In defence of England, as when any sodden rode,
or secreat thift made by any Scottes or Englishe
borderers, to be readie upon the first shout or fray,
with a score at the least of the Wardens men, to
188 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
followe to where the fray is, or to ride betwixt them
and home, as the service requires. In offence of
Scotland when the Warden doth make any rode,
to go with a competent number and take a boutie in
Scotland ; and that is called a Warden rode.'
Later again their duties came to include political
functions, for they had frequently when war was
toward, or fear arose of foreign influences prevailing
in Scotland to do a considerable amount of secret
service work, and make reports to the Foreign Office
of the day, viz. to the Secretary of State, or the
King's favourite minister. One even hears of a
Warden rifling the despatch bag of the French agent
on his way to Edinburgh. 1 Thus in Elizabeth's
reign Robert Bowes was not only Treasurer of
Berwick but Ambassador for the Queen at Edinburgh
during great part of seventeen years. 'The three
Border wardens/ wrote the late Mr. Joseph Bain,
the able editor of the Border Papers (vol. i. Intro-
duction), 'in addition to their proper duties, were
also charged with secret and confidential enquiries,
so far as their ability extended, into the internal
1 When Henry vm. sent Sir Ralph Sadler in 1540 to the Court of
Scotland, he supplied him with a letter of Cardinal Beaton to his agent
in Rome, which King Henry pretended had been left accidentally by
the Cardinal's servant in the north of England, after he had been driven
ashore in a tempest. In reality, the packet had been taken by force
from Brunston, the Cardinal's agent, by John Horsley, Captain of
THE OFFICE OF WARDEN 189
affairs of Scotland, as well as the intercourse of its
rulers with the Continent, especially with France
and Spain ; and the long reports on these subjects,
which they from time to time forwarded to the
Secretaries of State, are abundant evidences of the
efficient manner in which they discharged these
onerous duties. They were compelled, in truth, to
be not less familiar with the pen than the sword.'
190 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
'Wei sayd the erle when I was sworne Warden of the Marches, you
yourself told me, that I might with my staffe arrest all men under the
degree of a Kynge, and now I am more stronger, for I have a commision so
to do which you have sene.'
The Earl of Northumberland's reply to Wolsey
when he arrested him for high treason. Hall,
Triumphant Reigneof Kyng Henry the VIII.
THE first institution, then, of the office of Warden
appears to belong to the reign of Edward L, and the
original duty of guarding or keeping those parts of
Scotland upon which he had already laid his hands
was probably first exercised by Walter de Hunter-
Thus Walter de Huntercom.be of Huntercombe,
Oxon, was made Governor of Edinburgh Castle,
1296-98, and of the Sheriffdoms of Lothian, viz.
Edinburgh, Linlithgow, and Haddington, also Warden
of the Marches towards Northumberland.
He had early seen service on the Welsh Marches,
being summoned to the first expedition against
Lewelin, Prince of Wales, and in the Scottish wars
THE LORD WARDENS 191
again he was summoned to attend the muster at
Norham in 1291, and at Carlisle, York and Berwick,
1299-1310. Also, we find in 1299 Gilbert de Umfre-
ville made a Commissioner for manning and fortify-
ing the castles and strongholds of Scotland, and for
appointing Wardens of the Marches.
Again, John St. John of Halnaker, that well-
known commander, was appointed by Edward his
Lieutenant in the Counties of Cumberland, West-
moreland, Lancaster, Annandale, and all the Marches
unto the boundaries of the County of Roxburgh in
1300, and in 1301 was made Warden of Galloway.
John, Earl of Warenne, was Guardian (Warden)
and Lieutenant of Scotland in 1296-97, ' custodem
nostrum totius regni et terrae Scotiae,' and further,
Edward i. appoints Henry de Percy 'custodem
nostrum totius terrae Galwediae ac comitatus nostri
de Air' (Ayrshire), and after Edward's death in
1307 the Earl of Pembroke was appointed to the
'The first Lord Warden of the marches,' write
Burn and Nicholson in their History of Westmorland
and Cumberland, ' of whom we have had any
authentic account, was Robert de Clifford, Lord of
Westmorland, and hereditary sheriff of the same :
of whom the Countess of Pembroke's Memoirs take
notice, that in the twenty- fifth year of King Edward
192 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
the First, viz., 1296, the said Robert, being then about
twenty-three years of age, was made the King's
captain and keeper of the marches in the North
towards Scotland.' If the words * keeper of the
marches in the North towards Scotland' be taken
to mean the English Marches, then Clifford may be
reported the ' first Lord Warden/ but if Scotland is
included in the term, Walter de Huntercombe might
dispute the title.
Clifford's office was probably entirely military, for
on 12th July 1297 he was appointed Captain of the
Cumberland fortresses, and ordered to invade Scotland
with Henry de Percy, and a little later in the same
year was made Captain and Guardian of the Scots
Marches and the County of Cumberland.
He was again Warden of the Scots Marches in
Edward ii/s reign, being in 1308 appointed Captain
and Chief Guardian of all Scotland on either side of
the Firths, in company with Robert Umfreville, the
Earl of Angus.
On this Western March the Bishop of Carlisle was
frequently joint Warden with other principal Western
Borderers, and in 1302 the bishop was Governor of
Carlisle Castle. In 1341, 200 was ordered to be
paid the bishop, in part on the arrears of ,529, 4s.
for the wages of him and the men abiding with him
for the safe keeping of the marches against Scotland.
THE LORD WARDENS 193
Again, in 1309 the Bishop of Carlisle and Thomas de
Lucy were jointly and severally constituted Wardens
of the Western Marches.
The following is a table of the various Lord Wardens
General of the Border, and also the Lord Wardens
of the East, Middle, and Western Marches, both
English and Scottish, so far as the writer has been
able to discover them. He cannot, however, venture
to hope that it is complete. 1 One difficulty is that
the Deputy- Wardens are frequently styled Wardens ;
sometimes in old writers the Captains and Marshals
of Berwick-upon-Tweed are so alluded to, and very
frequently especially on the Scottish side, and on
their Western March particularly the Wardens are
changed with bewildering suddenness. This was the
consequence of clan feuds in part; also because of
English pressure or of English trafficking with the
insurgent Scots Lords.
1 William Selby, writing to Burghley in 1598 (Calendar of Border
Papers), gives the names of a number of recent Wardens on the East
March, concerning one or two of whom one knows nothing.
'Sir Wm. Ewrie, great-grandfather to this Lord Ewrie, and Lord
Warden of the East March ; Sir Nicholas Stirling was next Warden, then
Lord Ewrie, this Lord's Father, next Lord Conyers, and then Lord
Whartoun, in which Lord's time the 2 yeares warres began : during
which the Earl of Northumberland was Lord Warden, and afterwards Lord
194 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
THE LORD WARDENS OF THE SCOTTISH MARCHES
Sir James Douglas (' The
Good ' or ' Black Doug-
Sir William Douglas
(Knight of Liddesdale,
In 1364 and from 1368 to ' ' the Flower of Chiv-
his death in 1400 airy ')
Sir Archibald Douglas
'the Grim' (Earl of
Douglas in 1385 said
to have codified the
Laws of the Marches)
Archibald ('The Tynem an '), 4th Earl of Douglas,
parently, and of East M arch.
James 'the Gross,' 7th
Earl, who died in 1443,
sometime Warden. 1433
William Douglas, 2nd
Earl of Angus.
William, 1st Earl of
Douglas, joint Warden
with the Earl of March.
and of East March.
Lord Warden General ap-
William, 8th Earl of Doug 1
n. in Stirling Castle in
James, 9th Earl, succeeded
his brother, but was for-
feited in 1455, after
which the Wardenship
was no longer hereditary
with the Douglas family.
Sir Andrew Stewart,
Laird of Avondale.
as, Lord Warden of all the
Sir Alexander Home.
George, Earl of Angus.
Marches, killed by James
THE LORD WARDENS
THE LOKD WARDENS OF THE ENGLISH MARCHES
Robert de Clifford, ' Keeper of the Marches in the nor th towards Scotland.'
Earl of Surrey, Lord War den General.
Henry, 2nd Baron Percy,
Ralph, 4th Lord Neville, a nd Lord Percy, Joint Warjdens General.
Henry, 3rd Lord Percy, ;
Henry, 4th Lord Percy and
Lord Warden General
ac ted as Lord Warden Gener al.
Roger de Clifford.
Ralph, 5th Lord Neville,
joint Warden of East
and West Marches.
Thos. de Clifford, and
Ralph, 6th Lord Neville
and 1st Earl of West-
moreland (he was sole
Warden after Hotspur's
death in 1403).
1st Earl of Northumberla nd, Warden General.
Ralph, 5th Lord Neville
on commission for
custody of East March,
later sole Warden, died
Hotspur, associated with
his father, and Warden
of East and West
196 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
THE LORD WARDENS OF THE SCOTTISH MARCHES (continued)
The Earl William Douglas
at Lincluden renews
and promulgates the
Laws of March pre-
viously drawn up by
' Archibald the Grim '
James, Earl of Buchan.
Patrick Hepburn, Earl of
Walter Ker of Cesford.
Ralph and Andrew Ker.
Alexander, 3rd Lord Horn e, Lord Warden General,
the ran at Flodden.
Earl of Bothwell, Lord
Anthony Darcy, Lord
1517 by Home of Wedd erburn.
Warden General of all
Sir Robert Ker.
Sir Andrew Ker of
Warden General of all
Alexander, Lord Home.
Archibald, 5th JEarl of
Alexander Hume of that
Patrick Hepburn, Earl of
commanded with Huntly
the Marches, slain in
THE LORD WARDENS 197
THE LORD WARDENS OF THE ENGLISH MARCHES (continued)
Edward, Duke of York.
Richard, Earl of Salisbury.
Henry, 3rd Earl of Northumberland, Lord Warden
Warwick ' the King-
maker,' associated with
his father, the Earl of
Richard, Duke of Gloucest er, Lord Warden General.
Henry Percy, 4th Earl of
of Middle and East.
Henry, Duke of York, Lor d Warden General.
Thomas, Lord Dacre.
The Earl Marshal.
John, afterwards Duke
Henry, 2nd Earl of Nor-
Earl of Salisbury.
Earl of Northumberland
Henry, 3rd Earl of Nor-
John Neville, Lord Mon-
Henry Percy, 5th Earl of
198 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
THE LORD WARDENS OF THE SCOTTISH MARCHES (continued)
Robert, Master of Max-
Lord Maxwell (see Dacre).
Sir John Maxwell.
Sir James Douglas.
Earl of BothwelL
Sir John Maxwell.
The Lord Maxwell, re-
Earl of Angus, and Lieut. -
The Laird of Johnstone,
and in 1584 appointed
Lieutenant of West
Galloway and Liddes-
dale, and Provost of
Earl of Arran was Lord
Archibald Douglas, 6th
Middle and East March
Sir Walter Scott of Buc-
James, Earl of Bothwell,
and Lieutenant of the
Marches of Scotland.
Sir Walter Ker of Ces-
Earl of Angus, Warden of
es (m. Margaret Tudor
Alexander, 5th Lord
jreneral over all the
W. Ker (also Keeper of
Sir Thos. Ker of Fernie-
hurst (also Keeper of
Warden General of all the
Sir James Home of Cow-
Alexander, 6th Lord and
1st Earl of Home, and
in 1603 Lord Warden
THE LORD WARDENS
THE LORD WARDENS OF THE ENGLISH MARCHES (continued)
Henry Percy, 5th Earl, Lor d
Henry de Clifford (15th
Baron, son of the
'Shepherd Lord'), 1st
Earl of Cumberland.
Henry Percy, 6th Earl, Lo rd Warden General.
Wm., Lord Dacre. 1536
Sir Thos. Percy.
Lord Wharton. 2
Sir R. Bowes, 1 and of
Sir Ralph Eure (Lord
Sir Wm. Eurie, 1st Lord.
Sir N. Stirley.
1 Sir Robert Bowes ('one of the most expert Borderers') was Warden of East
and Middle Marches, and drew up his ' Book of the State of the Frontiers and
Marches betwixt England and Scotland,' and his treatise on the ' Forme and Order
of a Day of Truce' : he seems to have continued Warden till his death in 1554.
2 Sir Thomas Wharton (1st Lord Wharton), held to be another of 'the most
expert Borderers,' was one of the most energetic of all the Wardens ; he was
originally Deputy under Lord Scrope, Captain of Carlisle Castle, victorious at
Sol way Moss fight, Warden of West March, then in 1553 Deputy -Warden
General of all the Marches under the Duke of Northumberland, when he took
order for the day and night watches to be kept from sea to sea ; finally appointed
to the East and Middle Wardenries till his death in 1568. He was buried in
Kirkby Stephen Church, where his tomb still remains in good preservation.
3 Sir Ralph Ewrie (Eure), or Lord Ewrie, of the ballads.
' Lord Ewrie was as brave a man
As ever stood in his degree ;
The king has sent him a broad letter,
All for his courage and loyalty. '
He was, as Sir Walter Scott says in the Border Minstrelsy, ' one of the bravest
men of a military race. He was son of the first, and father of the second Lord
Ewrie ; and was himself created a Lord of Parliament during his father's lifetime,
in the 35th year of Henry vin.' He was slain in the Battle of Ancrum Moor,
1546, and buried in Melrose Abbey, where 'his stone coffin,' continues Sir
Walter Scott, ' may still be seen a little to the left of the great altar.'
He was Warden of the Middle March at the same time that his father was
Warden of the East March.
200 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
THE LOKD WARDENS OP THE SCOTTISH MARCHES (cow tinned)
W. Maxwell, Lord Herries.
Sir John Carmichael (he
had been Keeper of
Liddesdale and acted
as Warden at the Raid
of the Reidswire in
Lord Maxwell was Warden.
Earl of Angus.
John, Lord Maxwell, slain
at Dryfe sands by
Johns tones in 1593.
Laird of Johnstone.
Sir John Carmichael
again : slain by the
Armstrongs in 1600
on his way to hold a
Warden's Court at
Lochmaban, and suc-
ceeded in his office in
1600 by the Laird of
Alexander, 6th Baron and
three marches of Scotia nd.
W. Ker of Cessford (Pro-
vost of Jedburgh and
Keeper of Jed forest),
his son, Sir Robert Ker
(afterwards 1st Earl of
Duke of Lennox.
1st Earl of Home, Lord
Lord Willoughby d'Eresby .
Sir John Cary (2nd son
of Lord Hunsdon) (pre-
viously Marshal of
Berwick and Deputy
Warden General of the
THE LORD WARDENS
THE LORD WARDENS OF THE ENGLISH MARCHES (continued)
Wm., Lord Dacre.
Earl of Rutland, Warden,
and of East.
Henry, Lord Dorset, Lord
Lord Grey of Wilton.
Sir Thos. Percy, 7th Earl,
also of the East.
Dudley, Duke of Northum
berland, Lord Warden Ge
neral (Wharton, Deputy
Lord Warden General),
then Warden of Middle
and East Marches.
Sir Ralph Sadler, also of
Sir John Forster.
Henry, Lord Scrope, 9th
Henry, Lord Hunsdon,
Baron Bolton, Governor
1st cousin to Queen
of Carlisle, received
Elizabeth, Lord Cham-
Mary Queen of Scots
berlain, Governor of
and was her guardian
Berwick. In 1589 was
made Lord Warden
General and Keeper of
Sir R. Lowther.
Ralph, Lord Eure. 1
Thos., Lord Scrope, from
whose safe keeping in
Carlisle Castle ' Kin-
ruont Will' was taken.
Sir Robert Cary, 7th and
youngest son of Lord
Hunsdon, and after-
wards 1st Earl of
Monmouth, brought the
news of Queen Eliza-
beth's death to James.
The Earl of Cumberland,
Warden of the West and
Middle Marches and also
Lieut. -General of Cum
town and county of Ne
1 Ralph (3rd Lord Eure, Ewry or Evers), succeeded Sir John Forster, but
apparently did no better, and, complaints being laid against him, soon resigned.
From various letters it appears that his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather,
Sir W. Eure (1st Lord Eure), had all been Wardens of East or Middle Marches.
202 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
Between 1585 and 1595 there are no fewer than
six changes in the Wardenship of the Western
March of Scotland. (See p. 193.)
Finally, in the case of certain Wardens represent-
ing various powerful clans, or as being themselves
conspicuous for courage, daring or notoriety of any
kind, notes have been appended giving further
particulars of their lives or families.
THE CLIFFORDS AND THE EARLY WARDENS OF
THE ENGLISH WESTERN MARCH
1297. Robert de Clifford, Lord and Hereditary
Sheriff of Westmoreland. He succeeded to the
estates of his grandfather Roger, and also to the
moiety of the great Yeteripont or Vipont inheritance
through his mother Isabella. He was the founder
of the north country branch of the Clifford family ;
one of Edward i.'s most able soldiers and adminis-
trators, he took Carlaverock Castle, and was made
Captain of the Scots Marches and the County of
In 1308. Also he was appointed Captain and
Chief Guardian of all Scotland on either side of the
Firths, in company with the Earl of Angus, and met
his death on the field of Bannockburn. It is
interesting to note that as Hobert de Clifford was
the first Warden on the West March, so the last
THE LORD WARDENS 203
Warden of the same March was his descendant,
' George the Magnificant,' the last Earl of Cumber-
land, who was appointed Warden of the Middle and
West Marches by James VI. and I. shortly after his
succession to the English crown.
1315. Andrew de Harcla, Warden, and later
Governor and Earl of Carlisle.
1334. Henry de Percy and Ralph de Nevil were
jointly and severally commissioned to execute the
office of Head Wardens of the Marches in the
Counties of Northumberland, Cumberland, and West-
1336. Gilbert Welton, Bishop of Carlisle, and
Thos. Lucy, Lord of Cockermouth, Wardens.
1370. Thos. Appleby, Bishop of Carlisle, Roger
de Clifford, Anthony de Lucy, and Ranulph de Dacre
were commissioned to the Wardenship.
1374. Bishop Appleby, Roger de Clifford, Thos.
de Musgrave, Alan de Heton and nine others.
1377. Thos., Bishop of Durham, Thos., Bishop of
Carlisle, Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March, Roger
de Clifford, Ralph de Dacre, Richard de Stafford,
Henry de Scrope, Thos. de Musgrave, and John de
Appleby, Dean of St. Paul's.
1384. Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, was
1388. (Froissart states that 'the Lord Neville,
204 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
who had commanded the defence of the frontier of
Northumberland for five years against the Scots,
was dismissed : for this service he had been paid by
the Counties of Northumberland and Durham the
sum of 16,000 francs annually.
' Sir Henry Percy, being appointed in his stead to
the command with a salary of 11,000 francs annually,
was a circumstance which created much animosity
and hatred between the Percies and Nevilles, who
were neighbours, and had been friends.')
In this year you have a Warden's fight, viz. the
Battle of Otterburn, for the English Warden was
Hotspur, while the Earl of Douglas was the son of
the former Scots Warden. 'Hotspur/ the most
renowned of all the Percies * idolised by the people
and immortalised by Shakespeare may justly be
regarded as the hero of Northumberland, for he
showed throughout his short life that passionate love
of adventure (the 'plucking of bright honour from
the pale-faced moon '), that disdain of fear, and that
disregard of consequences which one regards as
typically Northumbrian. The ' speaking thick, which
Nature made his blemish,' alludes no doubt to the
Northumbrian burr, which tradition asserts Hotspur
1 For an account of the potent Percy family the most powerful Barons
in the North of England, and for some centuries Wardens, and Lord
Wardens General of the Marches the reader is referred to A History of
the House of Percy. Brenan. (Freemantle.)
THE LORD WARDENS 205
to have originated and his admirers to have copied.
His opponent at the Battle of Otterburn in 1388
was of course that ' sprightly Scot of Scots, Douglas,
that runs o' horseback up a hill perpendicular/ and
in that famous fight the typical Scot met with the
typical Northumbrian. Douglas indeed was the
elder by some years, and, emulous of the younger's
reputation, successfully challenged Percy at the
barriers before Newcastle, and defeated his forces at
Otterburn, as everybody knows. One might perhaps
liken the Scot to the elder brother of the Parable,
and the Northumbrian to the Prodigal, and you can
add a touch of superstition in Douglas which Hotspur
would certainly have scorned :
' But I have dream'd a dreamy dream :
Beyond the Isle of Sky,
I saw a dead man win a fight,
And I think that man was I.'
This family, renowned in battle and even more
renowned in matrimony, was for many years, like
the Percy with which they intermarried, engaged in
guarding the Border.
Thus in 1334 Ralph, fourth Lord Neville, brother
of the ' Peacock of the North,' was joint Warden
with Percy. He was one of the victors in the Battle
206 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
of Neville's Cross, and was buried in Durham
His son John, fifth Lord Neville, was in 1368
on the Warden's commission for East March, then
Governor of Bamborough, also joint Warden for
East and West Marches, and finally sole Warden of
His son Ralph, sixth Lord Neville and first Earl
of Westmoreland, was joint Warden of West March
with Lord Clifford's eldest son, and later was again
appointed Warden, his eldest son being associated
with him. He was twice married, and had in all
twenty-three children : his second wife was Joan
Beaufort, daughter of John of Gaunt, and his eldest
son by her was the Earl of Salisbury, father of ' the
King-maker,' in whom the power of the house
reached its climax.
The sixth Earl of Westmoreland, by joining in the
' Rising of the North/ ruined the fortunes of the
elder branch of the Neville family, for, being for-
feited, he lost the estates of Brancepeth and Raby.
THE RACE OF DOUGLAS
' So many, so good, as of the Douglases have been,
Of one sirname in Scotland never yet were seen.'
For a period of nearly two hundred years, only
terminating in 1452, when James n. despatched
THE LORD WARDENS 207
Willfam, the eighth Earl, in Stirling Castle with his
own hand, the history of Scotland is intimately bound
up with the doings of the House of Douglas.
The Wardenship of the Marches seems to have
become, like the Sheriffwick of Teviotdale, an
appanage of their family ; but with the murder of
the eighth Earl, and the forfeiture of James, ninth
Earl, the glory of the elder branch departed. Then
the younger branch, the 'Red Douglas/ put down
' the Black,' as the saying ran ; for James, having
been forfeited, died a monk in Lindores Abbey, and
George Douglas, fourth Earl of Angus, received the
ancient Lordship of Douglas, and his son, Archibald
' Bell the Cat/ grew to be as powerful as his
predecessors of the elder stock.
THE D ACRES
' Among the great families of Cumberland/ writes
Mr. R. S. Ferguson in his county history, 1 'the
martial house of Dacre stands out the most prominent.
So far back as ever they can be traced they are
avrox^oves, De Dacres of Dacre. The first that is
known is William de Dacre of Dacre, Sheriff of
Cumberland in 20, Henry in., 2 and great-grandfather
of the daring and lucky young wooer who carried off"
the young " Lady of Gilsland."
1 History of Cumberland. (E. Stock.) 2 Viz. 1173.
208 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
' The Dacres,
" So daring in love, and so dauntless in war,"
are ever inseparably connected in history and legend
with memories of Flodden, of Border warfare and
Border raids, while their wild slogan of " a Daker, a
Daker, a read Bull, a read Bull," was ever a terror to
the Scots, as their banner of martial red with its
silver escallops was ever a rallying-point for the
Of this family, three appear in the Wardens' roll.
Humphrey, ' Lord Dacre of the North/ was Warden
of the West March in second of Richard in., but it
was Thomas, Lord Dacre, who won the greatest fame
as soldier and as raiding Warden. He commanded
the reserve at Flodden, and he was Warden from
1509 to 1525, when he died.
A 'malleus Scotorum,' he thus writes in 1514 to
the Lords of the Council, ' There was never so mekill
myschefe, robbry, spoiling and vengeance in Scotland
then there is nowe, without hope of remedy e; which I
praye our Lord God to continewe.'
He built Askerton Castle and Drumburgh to stay
the Scots incursions and strengthened Naworth.
His eldest son William, Lord Dacre, was frequently
Governor of Carlisle, and also Warden.
His grandson dying quite young, this northern
barony died out, and Naworth with its broad acres
THE LORD WARDENS 209
passed to the children of Lord William Howard
(' Bauld Willie '), who married Elizabeth Dacre
(' Bessie wi' the braid apron ').
This powerful clan attained to prominence in the
sixteenth century, and the Wardenship of the Scots
Middle March was throughout that time almost con-
tinually in the hands either of a Ker of Ferniehirst
or a Ker of Cesford.
They were much favoured by James vi. and I., Sir
Robert Ker (Sir Robert Carey's enemy and friend
see Carey's Memoirs) being created first Earl of
Roxburgh, and his cousin, the notorious Robert
Carr (of Ferniehirst), being made Earl of Somerset.
The Earl of Ancrum, the Earl of Lothian, and Lord
Jedburgh also were derived from the same twin stock.
In 1514 Sir Robert Ker of Caverton was Warden
of the Scots Middle March, and was slain at a Border
meeting by the bastard Heron and two other English-
men. His son, Sir Andrew Ker of Cesford, was
likewise Warden ; Sir Andrew's son again, William,
was also Warden, and with him again was associated
as deputy Sir Robert Ker, his son, later first Earl of
In 1584 Sir Thomas Ker of Ferniehirst had super-
seded William Ker of Cesford as Keeper ofLiddesdale
and Warden of Middle March and Provost of Jedburgh,
but after the murder of Lord Francis Russell at the
day of truce, held by Ferniehirst on Windy Gyle,
Cesford was reappoiuted Warden.
Ferniehirst is said to have been able to bring 3000
men into the field, and as a great partisan of Queen
Mary was much dreaded by the English, and a thorn
in the flesh to Sir John Forster, his opposite Warden.
Their family burial-place was the north transept of
Jedburgh Abbey, where several headstones com-
memorate the Wardenships of departed Kers, as, for
example, that of Andrew Ker, who was Warden of
the Middle March, was knighted and died in 1545 l ;
that of Sir John Ker, who followed his father's
example, and died in 1562, 1 and that again of his son,
Sir Thomas Ker, opposite Warden, and torment, to
Sir John Forster, the English Warden, as above
In the sixteenth century the West Wardenry of
Scotland came to be almost exclusively associated with
the Maxwell name, but on two occasions it was given
to the rival, but less numerous, clan of Johnstone.
Thus in 1585 the Lord Maxwell was dismissed from
1 The headstones bear the dates 1524 and 1559. Our ancestors were
remarkably careless as to dates, as is well known.
THE LORD WARDENS 211
the Wardenship of the West March of Scotland, and
the Laird Johnstone was put in his place and com-
missioned to apprehend him.
Subsequently, Johnstone was defeated and taken
prisoner, and shortly after Maxwell was reinstated as
Warden, but in the fight at Dryfe Sands Maxwell
was slain by the Johnstones.
Finally, in 1608 Maxwell's son and heir assassinated
Sir James Johnstone, but James I. succeeded in ap-
prehending the assassin, and caused him to be publicly
beheaded in Edinburgh in 1613.
THE SCOTTS OF BUCCLEUGH
Sir Walter Scott of Buccleugh and Branxholme
fought at Flodden at an early age, was one of the
victors at Ancrum Moor battle, and became Warden
of the Middle March in 1550, but in consequence of
the ' deadly feud ' between Scott and Ker he was
murdered in Edinburgh in 1552.
His grandson was the intrepid Sir Walter Scott,
the Laird of Buccleugh and first Baron Scott, who
performed ' the last great Border exploit ' by breaking
into Carlisle Castle in despite of Lord Scrope and
carrying off 'Kinmont Will.' He was married to
Margaret, sister of Sir Robert Ker (later first Earl
of Roxburgh), and with him was styled the ' firebrand
of the border.'
212 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
In 1591 he was appointed Keeper of Liddesdale,
and seems to have been allowed the higher rank of
Warden, and to have treated with the opposite
Wardens on an equal footing. Scot of Satchells
writes of him as Warden :
' Lord Buckleugh into the Scots Border
Was high Lord Warden to keep them in good order ' ;
but he does not appear to have had a commission for
the Western March.
In 1604 he went over into the Low Countries with
a company of two hundred men, was created a Baron
in 1606, and died in 1611.
THE FAMILY OP HOME
The first of this well-known family io long and
intimately connected with the Wardenship of the
East March to be appointed Warden was Sir
Alexander Home of Home in 1449, and in that same
year he was selected as one of the guarantors of a
treaty with England.
His eldest son again, also Sir Alexander, was
Warden, and was created Lord Home in 1473.
This man's grandson, second Lord Home, was
appointed Warden of the East March in 1488 for
The son, third Lord Home, was Lord High Chamber-
lain and virtual Prime Minister in the reign of
THE LORD WARDENS 213
James iv., and thrust James on in his quarrel with
England : he was Warden General of the three
Marches. At Flodden he commanded the van with
Huntley, and together they routed the wing of the
English ; and then, Border fashion, they turned to
pillage, 1 whilst their King was slain, so the tradition
In 1516 he and his brother were executed for
treason, and their brother George, fourth Lord Home,
does not appear to have been Warden, yet he died in
a Border fight, and his son Alexander, fifth Lord, was
appointed Warden of the East March and ordered to
keep Hume Castle, on account of its proximity to the
Borders, as a place of war.
His son Alexander, sixth Lord Home and first
Earl of Home, became Warden of the East March in
1582, and took a prominent part against Both well.
In 1599 he went abroad, resigning the Wardenship ;
and in 1603, accompanying James vi. into England,
was made lieutenant and justiciary over the three
1 See ' The Souters o' Selkirk.'
' And up wi' the lads o' the Forest,
That ne'er to the Southron wad yield !
But Deil scoup o' Home and his menie
, That stude sae abiegh on the field.'
214 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
1 The King he wrytes a hiving letter,
With his ain hand sae tenderly,
And he hath sent it to Johnnie Armstrong
To cum and speik with him speedily.'
' Ballad of Johnnie Armstrong.
THE LORD WARDENS GENERAL, LIEUTENANTS
AND SCOTS JDSTICIARS
The Lord Wardens General seem to have been chiefly
appointed for the purpose of taking military charge
of the whole frontier in case of war, and in this
respect probably had the same powers as the Royal
Lieutenants, who were specially appointed to repre-
sent the King : in either case they would have a
special commission, and appear to be indifferently
styled Locum tenens or Custos generalis.
When Edward iv. in 1480 gave his commission of
lieutenancy to the Duke of Gloucester, he granted
him full authority to summon ' omnes et singulos
ligeos et subditos nostros tarn in merchiis nostris
versus Scociam quam in comitatibus eisdem merchiis
Again, in 1497, when the Scots invaded England
and the King had appointed the Earl of Surrey his
lieutenant in the north, Bishop Fox in the Palatinate
requested help from him. Surrey thereon came to
Durham, and raised a large number of men in that
THE LORD WARDENS GENERAL 215
county and in Yorkshire, by virtue of a like com-
Again, in 1522 the King appointed the Earl of
Shrewsbury his ' Lieut. Gen. of all the north parties
for agenst Scotland/ ' forasmoche/ runs the commis-
sion in Rymer's Foedera, ( as the Kingis Highnes our
Sovereigne Lord hath sure & certeyn knowledge that
his auncient enemyes the Scotts, by the procuring
& Instigation of his notorious & cruell enemy the
Frenche Kinge, in the begginning of the next mony th
of September as before, entende to Invade this his
Roialme of Englande, & not only to sley, spoil &
robb his subjects & People of the north Parties &
Merches near adjoynaunte unto the same Scottes etc.'
Occasionally no doubt the office was conferred upon
a court favourite or scion of the Royal House, and
may have been a sinecure.
Thus, when Henry, Duke of York, was appointed
in 1495 titular Gustos Generalis of the three Marches,
Thomas, Earl of Surrey, as ' subcustos et viceguardi-
anos' performed the duties. In 1482, when Richard,
Duke of Gloucester, was appointed Lord Warden General
by Edward iv. as his locum tenens, war was expected
with Scotland, and the appointment was evidently a
The great nobles of the north as the years went on
were less and less often appointed Lord Wardens
216 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
General, partly perhaps owing to the increase of the
power of the Crown, partly to the exceeding responsi-
bility of the office.
When the Earl of Northumberland in Henry vn.'s
reign ' indented for the 3 Marches and keeping of the
Town of Berwick upon Tweed in time of war/ Bishop
Fox of Winchester held it was too expensive a charge
for one man's power when active war was expected.
Having had experience of ' Keeping the Borders '
when as Bishop of Durham he defended Norham
Castle in person against the Scots in 1497, he thus
writes and advises Cardinal Wolsey :
' I doubt not, my Lord, it shall be right necessary
that the Kynges Grace make a Warden for the Est
and mydle marches, for it shall be to muche for any
oon persone to bere the burdeyn of all 3 marches in
the tyme of werre ; and it shal be right expedient
that he be a very hable man that shal be wardeyn of
the said Este and myddle marches in the tyme of
werre ; for uppon the Este marche shal be the moste
busynesse of the werre ; savyng that if my Lord
Dacre would leve his sone and his brother uppon the
waste marches, wherby the Scottes have not muche
with a great army invaded those partes, and lodge
hym self in the Este marche, in myne opinyon, for
the great experyence, acquayntance and landes which
he hath in Northumberland, he shuld be right meit
THE LORD WARDENS GENERAL 217
to kepe the said Este and mydle marches ; and whoo
soo ever shalbe now Warden of them, he ought not to
looke to have the fees that the said Erie of Northum-
berland had ; seying that he had the said fees, as
above is said, not only for the keping of the said Este
and mydle marches, but also for the keping of the said
towne of Berwick, which towne is no we in the Kinges
hands and at his proper costes and chargies : and in
my pouer opynyon the fees that the said Warden
shall have owght, of reason, to be cessed much after
the nowmbre of the souldyers which he will bynde
hym to have contynually attendante and servinge in
the werre uppon the said Borders.' 1
In furtherance of the Tudor plan of centralisation
and consolidation of the royal authority, Henry vin.
initiated the Council of the North, and appointed in
1522 a commission and a royal lieutenant to govern
the north of England, whereby the power of the
Wardens was more directly controlled by the court.
' This plan of government,' as Dr. Lapsley says in his
County Palatine of Durham, ' by a lieutenant and
council continued until 1525, when a slight modifica-
tion was made. This consisted in placing the north
under the nominal control of the king's natural son,
Henry FitzRoy, whose council carried on the actual
work of administration. Henry was created Duke
1 Original Letters (Ellis), cxiv. vol. i. 3rd series.
218 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
of Richmond and appointed the King's Lieutenant
General North of Trent.'
The Duke remained in the north until 1532, and
during that period his council governed the northern
counties. After Richmond's departure his council,
known now as the ' Council of the Marches,' continued
to administer the north in co-operation with the Duke
of Northumberland, Lord Warden of the Marches,
until the outbreak of the Pilgrimage of Grace in the
autumn of 1536.
In Scotland it appears that the Lord Wardens were
not granted such full judicial powers in their various
Wardenries as the English Wardens were wont to
exercise. ' March Treason/ in the technical sense of
offences against the Warden's enactment, as has
already been shown in Chapter vn., is not much met
with in the Scottish records.
Scots Justiciars and Special Lieutenants were
appointed from time to time, with especial powers to
deal with malefactors, fugitives and rebels, by the
King, and not infrequently the King conducted his
own justice eyre.
The reason for this was probably twofold, due in
part to the jealousy of the King in regard to the great
powers of such powerful chiefs as the Douglases, and
in part also to the jealousy of the great nobles against
THE LORD WARDENS GENERAL 219
On this subject Sir Walter Scott wrote thus in his
Introduction to his Border Antiquities :
' The Scottish Wardens do not appear to have held
Warden - Courts, doubtless because the territorial
jurisdictions of Sheriffdoms, Stewartries, Baillaries
and so forth, which belonged to the great families by
hereditary right, and the privileges of which they
jealously watched, would have been narrowed by
their doing so. Besides, the Scottish hereditary
judges possessed the dangerous and inconvenient power
of repledging, as their law terms it, that is, reclaim-
ing any accused person from courts of co-ordinate
jurisdiction, to try him by their feudal authority.'
The order of the Stewart-Court of Annandale is set
forth in the Appendix of the Leges Marchiarum, from
which we quote the first, fourth, and fifth items. ' In
the first, it is thought meet for the Common-weel
and more easie Reformations of Wrongs amongst the
Subjects of the Realme, that ane of the Court Clerks
of the said Stewartry sit in the Tolbuith of Loch-
maban Ouklie [weekly], every Thursday, beginning at
8 hours in the morning, and remaining while 3 hours
afternoon : accompanied with 2 or 3 Officers of the
said Stewartry, for directing of Precepts upon Com-
plaints, as follows.
' Item 4. That all Actions concerning Chancellarie,
as serving of Brieves, Entire of Airs [entry of heirs],
Division of Lands, and other Pleys concerning
Heritage, proceed, and be decyded, according to the
Common Law, and Practicque of this Realme estab-
lished by our most noble Princes of before.
' Item 5. It is appointed, that all criminal causes,
sic as Assisters with England, Resetters of them and
their goods, Committers of murder, Fyre, Ravishing of
Women, Stouth, and sic like, to be committed be
themselves, and before all others to be taken order
with, be an famous and unsuspected assize, according
to the ancient Laws of the Kealme.'
The stewart is elsewhere styled baron, and it is
evident that these courts of hereditary jurisdiction
dealt with what was ' March Treason/ and in England
would have been punished by the Wardens.
In 1445 it was ordained by the estates of Scotland
that ' in time to come there should be no Wardanis
on the Borders made in fee and heritage.'
Their judicial powers seem to have been specially
limited by their commissions, and on one occasion in
the sixteenth century, when greater powers than usual
were granted by James vi. to Sir John Carmichael,
Warden of the West March, sundry of the nobles
protested, and some reduction was conceded to them.
The following is quoted from a commission of
governorship and justiciary granted by Queen Mary
in 1551 to Sir William Scot of Branxholm.
THE LORD WARDENS GENERAL 221
It ran ' within the bounds of the Lordship of
Liddesdale and Teviotdalehead, and wherever the
clans of Liddesdale may remain ; with power to hold
Courts at Branxholm and Hawick to do all things
competent to his office therein ; and to destroy
utterly with fire and sword the dwellings of those
malefactors who cannot be apprehended.'
Also, we may quote from the same volume l :
' The Minutes of the Court of Justiciar of our
Sovereign Lord the King held and begun in the
Castle of Armitage, on Friday, 15th March 1537-1538
before Robert, Lord Maxwell, Justiciar of our Lord
the King in that part, by his commission judicially
shown and read, specially constituted : suits being
called and the Court affirmed.' Lord Maxwell seems
to have been the Warden of the West March as well
as Keeper of Liddesdale, and yet the King's commis-
sion was necessary for him before he could hold
At this court a dempster was sworn in, also two
Serjeants, and the business seems to have consisted
in taking certain pledges of the Elliots to certain
prisoners to take their trial in Edinburgh, and of
sundry others for the keeping of the peace in
The Royal Justiciars and Lieutenants of the Border,
1 Armstrong, History of Liddesdale, Appendix li.
222 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
then, that we hear of in the Scots records were
appointed by the King with a judicial rather than
a military purpose : they would oversee both the
Wardens and the Barons or Stewarts in respect of
keeping order and the administration of justice.
These appointments become frequent in the latter
half of the sixteenth century, and probably point to
the increased disorder on the Marches.
Sometimes perhaps the appointment may have been
a mark of royal or court favour, as in the case of the
Lieutenancy of all the Marches conferred on the
Earl of Bothwell in 1559, but usually, as we have
already suggested, the office seems to be chiefly
In the year following Lord Ruthven is appointed
Lieutenant and Justice over all the bounds of the
Sometimes the Scots Kings or Regents rode forth
to 'do justice' upon their Border, the most famous
case of all being that of King James v., who, as every
Borderer knows, conducted a ' justice eyre ' of the
most rough and ready kind in person, and summarily
hung on one particular circuit in 1530 Johnnie
Armstrong of Gilnockie. In this last case, James
seems to have been influenced by an unworthy
jealousy of the splendour of his equipment and
retinue, as both Pitscottie and the ballad intimate.
THE LORD WARDENS GENERAL 223
' But James, looking upon him sternly, said to his
attendants, " What wants that knave that a king
should have ? " and ordered him to instant execution.
Whereupon Armstrong " made great offers to the
King. That he should sustain himself, with 40
gentlemen, ever ready at his service, on their own
cost, without wronging any Scottishman : secondly,
that there was not a subject in England, duke, earl,
or baron, but, within a certain day, he should bring
him to his Majesty, either quick or dead." At length,
he seeing no hope of favour, said very proudly, " It
is folly to seek grace at a graceless face : but," said
he, " had I known this, I should have lived upon the
Borders in despite of King Harry and you both : for I
know King Harry would down weigh my best horse
with gold, to know that I were condemned to die
this day."' 1
* John wore a girdle about his middle,
Imbroider'd ower wi' burning gold,
Bespangled wi' the same metal,
Maist beautiful was to behold.
There hang nine targats at Johnnie's hat
And ilk ane worth three hundred pound
What wants that knave that a king should have,
But the sword of honour and the crown ? '
Thus it was with Jethart justice that James v.
1 Lyndsay of Pitscottie, History, p. 145.
224 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
quieted his own Border and ' made the rush bush
keep the cow.' Queen Mary, again, held a justice
eyre at Jedburgh, to which her Warden of the West
and Middle Marches, the Earl of Both well, should
have brought the evil-doers of his Wardenship had he
not been dangerously wounded by ' John o' the Park.'
Even the unwarlike James vi. made an expedition
against the thieves of the West Border in 1597. He
thus wrote to Henry Leigh at Carlisle (Deputy-
Warden of the English West March) :
' As some of the broken men and malefactors within
this our West March have refused to enter and
submit as directed by our Council, we have resolved
to passe forward in proper person uppon them with
fyre and sword upon Tysday next the xxii day of
this instant to their exterminacion and wreike.'
TRANSPLANTING OF THE MARCHMEN 225
THE 'PEACEFUL PERSUASION' AND TRANSPLANTING OF
THE MARCHMEN BY JAMES VI. AND I.
WITH the union of the two crowns in the person of
James vi. and i. the golden time of the Rank-rider
of the Marches, the Border Freebooter, and the
Moss-trooper came to an end. He was forced to
' purge himself and live cleanly/ for he could no
longer play upon the mutual jealousies of the
Wardens nor 'take assurance' from the opposite
realm, but was punished for his misdeeds by Com-
missioners or by the Judges on their Assize. All
hostile Acts of Parliament against each other's realm
were deleted in 1607, and either country sought the
common security ; but it was only gradually that the
Borders were quieted. Wanton destruction indeed
such as had formerly been caused by the Wardens
ceased, but ' doing a little shifting for their living '
was still a profession amongst the marchmen, and the
horse-stealer lingered on into the reign of George i.,
for we hear of a noted horse-thief, ' Luck-in-the-bag,'
in connection with the rising of ' the '15.'
The profession, however, lost caste, and offenders
226 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
were hardly dealt with, being pursued by ' slough-
dogs ' (bloodhounds) through the sloughs, mosses and
bogs, ' and thus in 1616 Sir Wilfrid Lawson and Sir
Wm. Hutton, two of his Majesty's commissioners for
the government of the middle shires of Great Britain,
send salutations to John Musgrave the provost
Marshall and the rest of his majesty's garrison (of
Carlisle),' and order ' watches to be duly searched
as was appointed and presentments to us or one of
us to be made, of every fault, either in constables
for their neglect in not setting it forth, or in any
persons slipping or neglecting their duties therein ;
and that you likewise see that slough dogs be pro-
vided according to our former directions, and as this
note to this warrant annexed particularly sets down.'
The first ' dogge ' is to be kept beyond Esk, and
other eight are also to be provided and their quarters
named ' the Sheriff, officers, l^ailiffs and constables,
within every circuit and compass wherein the slough
dogs are appointed to be kept, are to take care for
taxing the inhabitants towards the charge thereof,
and collect the same, and for providing the slough
dogs ; and to inform the Commissioners if any refuse
to pay their contributions, so as thereby such as
refuse may be committed to the gaol till they pay
the same.' l
1 Burn and Nicholson, vol. L p. 131.
TRANSPLANTING OF THE MARCHMEN 227
Various commissions were appointed, composed of
both English and Scots, whose ' condescendings ' dealt
with offenders of either country. Thus Englishmen
refusing to staunch old feuds were to lie in Edinburgh,
and Scottishmen in Newcastle. Armour and weapons
in the unsettled districts in the Middle and West
Marches were to be put away, and no horse, gelding
or mare above the price of 50s. sterling or 30 Scots
was to be kept upon pain of death.
In the case of the Grahams or Grames, who lived
beside Esk and Liddle in the English part of what
had been till its division in 1552 the Debatable
ground, a ' transplantation ' of almost the entire
' name ' was effected early in the new reign.
As the King proudly declares in his proclamation
of the first year of his reign, December 1603, ' By the
travel of his cousin, the Earl of Cumberland, his
lieutenant there, with the assistance of other com-
missioners, things are brought to that point, that the
offenders are all at our mercy, and do all (but specially
the Grames) confess themselves to be no meet persons
to live in those countries, and therefore have humbly
besought us that they might be removed to some
other parts, where with our gracious favour they
hope to live to become new men, and to deserve our
mercy : although we do confess, we have rather in-
clined to this course of mercy, as a thing more
228 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
agreeable to our nature, than the taking of so much
blood as would be shed, if we should leave them to
the just censure of the law.' Nevertheless His
Majesty has to admit concealing as best he may
this hard fact under much verbiage that there
being ' a lack of means to provide presently for the
transplantation of these Grames elsewhere, to the
intent their lands may be inhabited by others of good
and honest conversation : we have thought it not
amiss, for better effecting thereof, and for ease of the
prisons, to dismiss the vulgar sort of them : retaining
their heads and principals for pledges, not only to be
answerable for their forthcoming when they shall be
called for, but for their good behaviour also in the
Mr. Bell, the west Warden's clerk, gives in his
MS. 'a note and abstract of the several names of
the clans of all the Grames, severally given in to
the right honourable Thos. Lord Scroope of Bolton,
Lord Warden of the West Marches of England
towards Scotland, preferred by them the eighth day
of Oct. 1602 ; whom they severally bound themselves
to be answerable for to the said Lord Scroope.' Com-
mencing with the Goodman of Netherby, who answers
for himself, sons, brothers, ' brether,' and tenants, and
concluding with those that ' Will Grame, Goodman of
Medop, his eames [uncles] sons, and friends will answer
TRANSPLANTING OF THE MARCHMEN 229
for/ the number is four hundred and thirty-nine, and
'the tax assessed and received for transplantation of the
Grames in the year 1606 ' is set down at 408, 19s. 9d.,
paid not by King James or Scotland, but by a rate
upon the counties of Cumberland and Westmoreland.
He gives the disbursements of the three ' goings over
of the Grames into Ireland,' and it is abundantly
evident from the meek manner in which these hardy
Borderers submitted that in King James's ' Middle
Shires ' ' Othello's occupation was gone/
The sword was not always beaten into the plough-
share, for the Border country remained largely
pastoral ; but the lance of the notorious ' Geordie
Bourne ' of the Marches became not infrequently the
pick of * Geordie Pitman/ who to this day exhibits
the courage and hardihood that characterised his fore-
elders through the centuries of Border warfare till
in his wisdom King James vi. and I. ' thought good
to discontinue the divided name of England and
Scotland out of his royal style, and resolved to take
and assume the name and style of Great Britain.'
230 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
NOT again could ' Bangtail/ ' Nebless (noseless)
Clemy/ the ' Devil's chaft blade/ and ' Archie-fire-
the-fells ' labour scaithless in their vocation.
They had after 1603, as we have already seen, to
forswear horse-flesh and 'live cleanly.' No more
would they be able to run their day foray or prick
their way by the light o' the moon to 'ride out
light and return heavy ' with scores of nolt and sheep
at the slight risk of some time or other of having to
pay the fines of ' Double and Sawfey ' at a Warden's
meeting or Day of Truce.
' Ave Caesar ! Morituri te salutant.'
For in 1605 the Border Commissioners agreed that
for a shillingsworth of theft death was to be the
penalty, and they set forth a short way with reivers
in these words :
'If any Englishman steal in Scotland, or any
Scotsman steal in England, any goods or cattels
amounting to the value of 12d., he shall be punished
by death ; and that all accessaries to such felonies,
viz., outputting or resetting, shall likewise suffer
death for the same.'
THE AULD ENEMY ' 231
'THE AULD ENEMY'
EDWARD i.'s policy of hatred had been only too successful :
he had sown dragon's teeth, and had reaped the 'deadly
feud ' which was always ready to lift up its head on every
occasion, for the memory of the ' Douglas Larder ' on the one
side or the cruelty of Cressingham and brutality of Hazlerigg
on the other was ever kept fresh through the centuries by
some fresh outrage on either side. Now to give the reader
some notion of the absolute detestation of the English felt
by the Scots even so late as the sixteenth century, it will
suffice to quote from Monsieur Beague, a French gentleman
who assisted the Scots in the 'campagnes' of 1548-9, who
was an eye-witness of the barbarities then practised.
After the fight by Haddington he relates that ' the Scots
throng'd to their camp, and beheld the naked and mangl'd
bodies of the English stretch'd out upon the ground, with
an air rather of resentment than pity ; nay, some who no
doubt had suffer'd most of their insulting enemy, had the
cruelty to put out the eyes of the dead.'
And again, after the retaking of Ferniehirst Castle, near
Jedburgh, ' others of the Scots tried their skill and contended
who amongst them had the art to cut off the leg or the arm
of an Englishman with greatest facility; and when thus
they had made away with such as had fallen in their own
232 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
hands ; they bought from the French ; nor lost they any
time in cheapening, but gave frankly whatever was ask'd,
their very arms they parted with, for the pleasure of
charming revenge. I remember, they purchased one of the
prisoners from myself for a horse ; they ty'd him neck and
heels, laid him down in a place's field, run upon him with
their lances, arm'd as they were, and on horseback, kris'd
him, cut his body to pieces, and carried the divided parcels
on the sharp end of their spears. I cannot much commend,'
concludes Monsieur Beague, ' the Scots for this usage ; we
had not the same reasons to delight us doing ill to our
enemy ; but the truth is, the English had tyrannis'd over
that part of Scotland in the most barbarous manner, and I
do not find that 'twas any injustice to repay them, as the
saying is, in their own coin.'
Certainly the Scots were bitter haters, and as certainly
they had just cause for hate, since the English did their
utmost to provoke and humble their proud neighbours.
You can read of the pleasure a Warden took in ' pricking
the Scot' in this extract from a letter 1 written by Lord
Dacre of the North (Lord Warden of the Marches from the
first to the seventeenth year of Henry vm.) to Henry vm.
in 1513 ' at Harbotill the xiiith day of Novembre at vi of
the clok in the morning.' He describes the great success of
his ' Rode into Scotland by way of Gallespeth ' (Gamblespath
on Windy Gyle) in the Middle March, wherein his brother
entering Scotland by ' Cressopbrige,' the west boundary of
the march, had happily co-operated. He promises, moreover,
' in the next light ' (full moon) to ' perform ' another ' rode '
into the West March, ' and in the meantime shall cause
smaller Rodes be made, which shall be as gret annoyance to
the Scots as a great Rode should be, and thus shall yo r
1 Original Letters (Ellis), xxxiv. vol. i. 1st series.
'THE AULD ENEMY' 233
money be employed to the best I can, and for the greatest
hurt and destruction of the Scotts ; for I shall be as goode
a husband thereof, as I would be of myn awn, and always I
shall be redy to gif accompt of the same at your pleasure.'
Ruthless as Agamemnon, Henry vui. himself commands
Hertford to spare neither age nor sex in his campaign :
For the poorer people throughout these centuries life on
the Border must have been an Inferno l from October unto
March, 2 for at any time the ' red cock ' might crow on the
roof of their 'toon,' wife and daughters be ravished and
murdered, the ' insight ' and ' outsight ' alike ' lifted ' and
carried oft' four blackened walls being alone left to tell
Hearken to the Border widow's lament :
' I sew'd his sheet, making my mane ;
I watch'd the corpse, myself alane ;
I watch'd his body, night and day ;
No living creature came that way.
I took his body on my back,
And whiles I gaed, and whiles I sat ;
I digg'd a grave, and laid him in,
And happ'd him with the sod sae green.
But think na ye my heart was sair,
When I laid the moul' on his yellow hair ;
think na ye my heart was wae
When I turn'd about, away to gae ? '
1 Leslie, under date 1532, thus writes : 'Inglismen and Scotis, quhen
betwene thame na apne weiris war zit proclamet, slewe, spoylet, stall,
rugit, reivet, ilk from other, baith be say and land, cruellie.'
2 During these months the marches were ordered to be set (see Chapter
vni. ). The summer months usually afforded a welcome interlude for pastoral
234 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
OF VARIOUS ENDEAVOURS TO 'STANCH THE FEUD '
THIS ' deadly feud ' then deliberately built up by Edward i.
continued like a never-dying beacon flame to call the
English and the Scots to arms for over three hundred years,
and was only staunched in 1603, when fate chose out the
Scottish Solomon as the first recipient of the double crown.
Various efforts to stay the flame or to ' stanch the feud ' had,
however, been made.
Edward i. himself had preferred originally pacific methods
before warlike, but the twice unfortunate death of the
' Maid of Norway,' in 1290, had wrecked his project of her
marriage with his eldest son, and with it the union of the
two countries under one crown.
The voice of the lover was hushed ; the trumpet sounded
' Boot and Saddle,' and it was with a sabre in his hand, and
not with bridal offerings, that Edward henceforth wooed
The Scots alliance with France was the result, and
Scotland's favours were naturally given to France, not
England. Statesmen perceived the need of the alliance, and
some few sought for union, but till time had assuaged the
bitterness that had become engrained such projects failed of
accomplishment. Edward in., as we have seen, gave his
daughter in marriage to the Scots Prince David, after-
wards David ii., but the ancient enmity was not thereby
When at war with France, Edward iv. proposed a marriage
between his daughter Cecilia and the Scottish Prince, but
no sooner had Edward come to terms with France than he
OF VARIOUS ENDEAVOURS 235
dropped treating with James in. for his son's hand and
the old national Adam rising within him proclaimed James's
revolted brother, Albany, to be King of Scotland by the grace
of the King of England.
A few years later an indenture of matrimony was drawn
up between Richard in. and James for the marriage of the
Scots King's eldest son, James, to Anne, Richard's niece, the
daughter of John, Duke of Suffolk.
Henry vn., after proposing to marry either his sister-in-
law, or his cousin Katharine, granddaughter of the Duke of
Somerset, to James iv., finally gave him his daughter
Margaret, which, however, did not prevent James from
rushing upon his ruin at Flodden in spite of the mutual
' grete tender Luve and Kindness ' * previously alluded to and
his own oath. 2
The marriage of Edward vi. to Princess Mary of Scotland
(the ill-fated Queen) was vehemently pressed both by
Henry VIIL and the Protector, but the wooing was so rough
1 The indenture of 1487 given in Rymer (arising out of the 'grete
tender Luve and Kindness athie Prince has in sundri wise schewin unto
uthir ') proposes a marriage ' between the King of Scots and Queen
Elizabeth late wife of King Edward the Ford, or between Prince James,
the first begotten son of the seid king of Scottis, and ane of the seid
Edward the Ford umquhile King of England Dochties, and sistir to the
said Princes Elizabeth nowe queene of England quhilk likit best to baith
the said kings.
' Be the quhilk Mariage or Mariagez, by the Grace of God to be com-
pletit, sail folowe the finall appeasing and cause of cesing of all sic
Debaites and Controversies, as in time past has bene, for the Castell and
Town of Berwick, betuix the Kings of the seid Eealmes for the tyme being
movit and attemptit, or the quhilk Castell and Town of Berwick, the said
King of Scottis desires alwais Deliverans as the finale appeasing of the
seid mariages or any of thame, be sic concorde as may be betuix Him and
the seid King of Ingland.'
2 James iv.'s oath, 1502 :
'I, James, by the Grace of Gode, King of Scotland, Promise, be thir
Haly Evangelis and Canon of the Haly Mess be me Bodily touchit. Swere
236 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
that the national honour pricked on also by the French
influence was aroused against it.
The following Convention, indeed, seems to have con-
templated another Raid of Ruthven.
This Convention was signed by Norman Lesly, James
Kirkcaldy of Grange, Henry Balnavis, David Monnypenny,
and William Kirkcaldy, and was an agreement between them
and the Protector Somerset and Edward vi.
' We cannot deny/ they say, ' but by all Reasone must
confesse, that unlesse our sad Sovereign Lady de delyvered
into the Hands of the Kingis majeste that now is, to be
Brough up and educated togithirs by his sade Uncle and
otheris of the Privy Counsall, the sad marriage notwith-
standing any Promesse that have or can be, is never likele
to take effecte, whereby the occasione no we sent by God
evidentlie for the Determination of a perpetual Peax, Unite,
and hartie naturale Love betwene both the Realmes being
pretermitted, the semblabe is never like to enswe hereafter,
and so shall both Statis their Realmes and Subjectis con-
tinue, to the Displeasure of Almighty God, the Destruction
of themselves and their Countres, to the eternal Condemnation
of the Workers of the same, in Hetered, Rancour, Malice
and Vengeance the one against the other.'
This ' Hetered, Rancour, Malice and Vengeance ' were yet
continually and thoughtfully fed by either side to the very
end, for Henry vn. uses the phrase In dominio nostro
that I sail for my parte wele and trewly kepe and observe the Trete of
Perpetuale Peax and Amitie, and every Article of the same, now lately
passit and concludit be sufficient Auctorite, and in the Names of Us, the said
King on that Ane Partie, and the Rt Excellent the Eight Hie and Mighty
Prince Henry, be the Grace of God, King of Ingland and of France and
Lord of Irland on that other Partie, bering Date the xxiv Day of the
moneth of January last past, and the same als fer ais in me is I sail cause
in likewise to be Observid and Kept my Subgiectis.'
OF VARIOUS ENDEAVOURS 237
Scotiae, and Mary Queen of Scots on her marriage with the
Dauphin assumed the arms of England.
Yet it is difficult for Englishmen nowadays, who as a rule
are singularly ignorant of Scots history, to realise how
distinct from, and foreign to England, Scotland was in olden
days, and these two extracts from indentures of 1492 and
1497 may give some additional notion of this political
estrangement. (Rymer's Foedera.)
Thus in the Ratificatio Conventionum Scotiae of 1492 a
five years' truce and abstinence from war between the Kings
of England and Sqotland it is stipulated that 'the Con-
federate Kings ' are to join in should they wish to do so and
signify the same within six months ; if by then they do not
do so, and if the Kings of England and Scotland do not
wish the Confederate Kings to be included, then the truce
is of no force or meaning. These kings are ' pro parte Regis
Scotorum, Karolus Rex Franciae, Johannes Rex Daciae, Rex
Hispaniae, Rex Neapoli, Austriae et Medioleni Duces,' and
' pro parte Regis Angliae, Imperator, Rex-Romanorum,
Reges Hispaniae, Portugaliae, Neapoli, Austriae, Burgundiae,
Ferrarii et Sabaudiae Duces.'
Again, in 1497 the circumstance and the cause of the
violation, breakage and dissolution of the last truce is
committed to the arbitration, judgment and final deter-
mination of the King and Queen of Spain.
A fresh truce between the two Kings of England and
Scotland is to last from sunrising of 30th September to
sunset 30th September 1504 the Apostolic Prothonotary
Petrus Ayala being brought in as arbitrator, 'pro bono
Pacis, tanquam media Persona, interfuit illustris Dominus
Petrus Ayala Prothenotarius Apostolicus ac Illustrissimoruin
Principum Regis et Reginae Hispaniorum orator.'
238 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
THE BISHOPRIC OF DURHAM, OR THE PALATINATE, AND THE
DUTY OF BORDER DEFENCE
THE Bishop of Durham seems occasionally to have been
appointed Warden in commission with others, but in con-
sequence of his royal prerogative in the Bishopric he had
oftentimes to take the field against the Scots in person in
early times, for he was regarded as ' a brazen bulwark against
Scotland.' x Bishop Bek, for example, who is said ' to have
loved war for its own sake,' in 1298, ' carried through the
siege of the Castle of Dirlton in Scotland, and seems to have
had the whole conduct of the war in behalf of the King.'
The King requests the Bishop to send his men ; he does
not command him to do so, but in course of time 'in
military matters the privileges of the Palatinate were never
allowed to interfere with the complete freedom of action on
the part of the authorities of the Marches ; and, further, the
Bishops always accepted this arrangement without question :
undoubtedly, indeed, they were glad of any assistance in
their arduous task of defending the Borders, even though
obtained at the cost of some infringement of their liberties.'
Finally, it appears that the Bishop of Durham, in
Elizabeth's reign, ' was responsible to the Wardens of the
Marches for any assistance they might require, or that he
might be able to give.'
1 See Lapsley, County Palatine of Durham. (Longmans.)
ARMOUR AND WEAPONS 239
ARMOUR AND WEAPONS OF THE MARCHMEN
THE ' Border Spear ' seems usually to have been contented
with but little furniture for himself or nag. As one who
enters for a Point-to-Point nowadays, he rode as light as
possible, for in case of ' Hot Trod ' he might have to trust to
the swiftness of his horse for safety. A jack 1 (leathern
jacket strengthened with iron plates), steel cap, and spear were
the usual equipment of the yeomen class. Spear or lance or
Jethart staff or halbert seem to have been in use indifferently,
though the two last would perhaps have been more useful
for footmen when fighting against horsemen, as more likely
to bring the rider to the ground.
As the late Mr. Bain pointed out in his Introduction to the
Calendar of Border Papers, vol. i., the commission of in-
quiries of Queen Elizabeth on the Western Border gives
not only the arms and weapons, but also notes their
'The jack, steel cap, and spear predominate next the
Scottish Border, the bow and bill in the districts further
south, and there are not above half-a-dozen guns or arque-
buses : while two men were ready to face the enemy, one
with a pitchfork and the other with a pikestaff.'
In 1605 the Border Commissioners on the West, appointed
by King James for the ordering of his ' Middle Shires,' agree
in regard to armour, weapons, and horses as follows :
'That proclamation shall be made, that all inhabiting
within Tindale and Riddsdale in Northumberland, Bew-
castle dale, Wilgavey, the north part of Gilsland, Esk, and
1 The jack seems to be applied indifferently to the brigandine, gambeson,
scalecoat, and lorica.
240 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
Leven in Cumberland, east and west Tevidale, Eskdale,
Ewsdale and Annandale in Scotland (saving noblemen and
gentlemen, unsuspected of felony or theft, and not being of
broken clans) and their household servants, dwelling within
those several places before visited, shall put away all armour
and weapons, as well offensive as defensive, as jacks, spears,
lances, swords, daggers, steelcaps, hagbuts, pistols, plate
sleeves, and such like ; and shall not keep any horse, gelding
or mare, above the price of 50s. sterling, or 301. Scots. : upon
like pain of imprisonment.'
'DOUBLE AND SAWFEY '
THE damage or loss seems to have been assessed by a jury
of twelve, six of whom were to be ' gentlemen of Worship
and good name of Scotland,' chosen by the English Warden,
and the other six ' like gentlemen of England,' to be named
by the Scots Warden. Then this assessment was doubled,
and a third ' in respect of such charges as the partie offended
had sustained in the inquearinge and findinge certainlye who
was the offender ' finally added. This was the famous
double and sawfey or ' two doubles,' in reality a threefold
fine, which is so commonly met with in old Border histories
and nearly always wrongly explained. Even in Mr. Heslop's
excellent Dictionary of Northumberland Words ' sawfey
money' is said to be 'blackmail levied by the reivers of
Tynedale and Redesdale.'
The English Dialect Dictionary lends its high authority
to the like error, for it defines ' sawfey money ' as ' blackmail
levied by Border Raiders.'
Again, Jamieson's Scottish Dictionary, under the heading
'DOUBLE AND SAWFEY ' 241
of ' Saughie,' gives this explanation, ' The sum given in name
of salvage ; an old term used in the Border laws.'
This would seem to imply a derivation from safety, as
though ' sawfey ' signified safety money.
Now the three terms Principal, Double and Sawfey are
succinctly set down and explained under the 'manner of
holding days of Truce' as follows (Calendar of Border
Papers, voL ii. p. 724) :
'Principall' is given as the ' true single quantity of a bill.'
' Doubles ' another single quantity.
' Sawffies' a third single quantity.
Every one filed or convicted of a bill for stolen goods is
condemned to pay three for one (with exceptions), viz.
principall, double and sawffie.
Whatever the derivation, the meaning is more particularly
set down by Sir Robert Bowes in his report on the Border in
1551. He has some difficulty in spelling the term : it is now
the ' double and falss ' and again the ' double and sale' and
finally the ' double and falsse,' but he knows quite well what
it means. ' Ye principall goods sold or spoyled to be re-
dressed or the value thereof with the double, which was as
muche againe as the principall amounted unto, and for the
fals ' (' sawfey '), ' or in respect of such charges as the partie
offended had sustained in the inquearinge and findinge
certainlye who was the offender all other tyme, the value of
the gooddes which in the whole amounted to a threefold
restitution.' He goes on to say that ' by remisse and negli-
gente directions made by officers upon the Borders, the
same good orders were perverted to the favor and profyte of
the thiefe, losse and damage of trew men ' by only ordering
the ' double ' to be paid. Wherefore the Commissioners
order that after the first day of May 1551 'for all attemptets
donne and committed or to be committed after the said day
242 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
of the first meetings of the said Commissioners hereafter,
duringe ye peace redresse should be made with double and
falsse yt ys to say in triplum or three times as muche as the
principall amountethe unto accompted en the principall (if
yt may be had) to discharge one third part thereof.' In the
indenture of 1553 it is stated that this ' redress by payment
of the principal with two doubles ' not having estopped
thieves and evil-doers they shall for the third fault incur
the pain of death as common offenders against the laws of
The ' double and sawfey ' was also the mulct for ' any
tymbre or woodd fellen, taken and caryed away by the in-
habitants of either realme furthe of the opposite realme to
be esteamed and assessed by the othe of the partie offended
or his servante keeper of the said woodd.'
'BAUGHLING' OR REPROVING AT A DAY OF TRUCE
This was not, as stated in a footnote in the Leges
Marchiarum, a 'scolding or wrangling' between two Bor-
derers, but a public accusation of faithless dealing and
broken word. A licence had to be obtained for this from
both Wardens. This 'Baughling,' however, having been
found to give 'great occasion of further trouble and in-
convenience,' it was laid down in the indenture of 1553
' that no person or persons of either the said realms, shall, at
any day of Trewes, or other Convention or assemblies between
the officers of both the said realms, bear, shew or declare
any sign or token of reproof.'
In order, however, that justice might be done in the
matter, it was enacted in the indenture of 1563 c that where
any person of either realm shall complain upon the subjects
of the other realm, dwelling within any of the Wardenries
thereof, that he will not, according to his bond and promise,
'BAUGHLING' OR REPROVING 243
re-enter as lawful prisoner either for himself, or any other
that he standeth bound for, or will not pay his ransome
promised, and other such like matter and causes, that the
person complainant shall give in his bill to the warden of
the marche where the person complained upon dwelleth :
and the warden shall cause him to be lawfully arrested, to
answer the next day of Trewe, and to do justice upon the
complaint, in giving of sentence according to the marches
equity and reason.'
The ways of spelling the word are many and various. A
'reproche or baughle,' Sir Robert Bowes styles it. A
' baughling (brawling) or reproving,' wrote Sir Walter Scott
in his Introduction to Border Antiquities. It is written as
Baugle in the Border Laws, and as Bawchling in Calendar
of Border Papers.
The true word seems to be Bauchle, the meaning of which,
as given in Jamieson's Scottish Dictionary, is to treat con-
temptuously, to vilify : as to bauchle a lass, to jilt a young
woman, or to put out of shape, as e.g. to bauchle shoon.
'Bawchling,' says the memorandum (Calendar of Border
Papers, vol. ii. p. 724) on the 'manner of holding days of Truce,'
'is a publicke reproffe,or rather ane appeall,by holding a gloave
(representing the false hand of the person bawchled) on a
speares pointe, at a day of truce or other assemblye of English
and Scottes, whereby the partie bawchled is accused or chal-
lendged for breaking his word, faith or bond : and sometimes
the speare and glove are by the accuser fixed on the house-
topp of the person accused : but this is very punishable by
the treaties, yf it be done without the princes or the
Sir Robert Bowes in his Informacions gives the following
interesting description of the said 'baughling.' 'And be-
cause the manner and order of such reproche or baughill is
244 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
not knowne to everye man I thoughte good here to describe
ye same thus :
' If any Englishe man or Scottsman be bound to another of
the opposite realme, for ransome, entrie of prisoners, or any
other juste cause, for the which he bindethe him by his
faithe and truthe, and doth not accordinglie performe and
accomplishe the same, after reasonable monitions thereof
given to the partie, and request to performe the said bonde
and promise, It hath been used between the realmes, that
the partie offended would beare a glove, or a picture of him
that had so broken his truthe, and by the blast of a home or
crye to give knowledge to the whole assemblie, that such a
person is an untrue and unfaithful man of his promise to
his reproche, which is as much in the lawe of armes as to
give unto him the lye, and appeale to fight with him in the
' And indeed the partie so reproched may (if he will) defend
his cause and truthe by singular battaile, which the other
partie can not honestly refuse.'
Acts of the Parliament of Scotland,
quotations from, 67.
Aglionby, Edward, extract from
letters to Burghley, 172, 173, 174,
Albany, Duke of, 235.
Alexander in., 13, 14.
Angles, the, 7.
Angus, Robert Umfreville, Earl of,
Annandale, 52, 239.
keeper of, 51, 52.
Anne, daughter of John, Duke of
Appleby, John de, Dean of St.
Thomas. See Carlisle, Bishop
Armstrong family, the, 27, 39, 50,
80, 115, 155, 182.
Hector of Harlaw, 30, 31.
Johnnie of Gilnockie, 222,
Sandie, 58, 60.
Armstrong, R. B., History of Liddes-
dale and Debateable Land, ix, 63.
quotation from History of
Liddesdale, 49-51, 57, 177.
Arundel, Earl of, 53.
Austria-Hungary, 8, 9.
Avower, 109, 118-120.
Bain, Joseph, viii.
extract from the Border
Papers, 188, 189, 239.
Ballard, his Domesday Inquest, 10.
Balliol, John, 13, 14, 15.
Balnavis, Henry, 236.
Bannockburn, battle of, 16.
Barty of the Comb. See Milburn.
Batablers, 29, 60.
Bauchle or Baugle, vii, viii, 94, 242-
Beacons, their distribution, 165-170.
statutes concerning, 166-170.
Beague, Monsieur, 231.
quotation from, 231, 232.
Beaton, Cardinal, 188.
Bek, Bishop of Durham. See
Bell, Richard, 45, 123, 142.
quotations from his MS.,
105-112, 141-143, 228, 229.
Berners, Lord, 24.
Berwick, 9, 15, 38, 43, 105, 139.
garrison of, 47, 177, 178, 179.
commissioners of, 115.
Bewcastle Castle, captain of, 48, 49,
account of captaincy, 54.
Black Rood, the, 16.
Blakehope Burn, 23.
Boethius, Hector, 9.
Boniface, Pope, 11.
248 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
Border, the, its initiation, 6.
clans enumerated, 172-175.
early laws, 142, 151.
tenure on, 42, 43.
See Leges Marchi-
drawbacks of, 116-
life upon, 29.
meetings, varieties of, 104, 105.
papers. See Calendar of Border
Scots, described by Froissart,
described by Gray, 26, 27.
character of, 30, 31, 32, 33, 154.
freebooters, profession of, 225,
transplantation of, 227-
Borderland, descriptions of, 1-5, 22.
Bothwell, Francis, Earl of, 50.
James, Earl of, 50, 222.
Patrick, Earl of, 50.
Bowes, Sir Robert, vii, 105, 128,
144, 150, 179, 188, 199.
Informations, viii, 41.
quotations from In-
formations, 243, 244.
quotation from Book
of the State of the Frontiers and
quotations from, 40,
41, 42, 43, 44, 116, 117, 241, 242,
Sir William, vii.
quotation from, 104.
letter to Cecil, 128.
Braes of Yarrow, 4.
Braxfield, Lord, 151.
Britons, the, 7.
' Broken men,' 102.
Brougham Castle, 29.
Brunanbuhr, battle of, 8.
Buccleugh, Keeper of Liddesdale,
Laird of, 2, 39, 134-137, 156.
Lord Scott, 36, 50.
Burghley, 33, 104, 135, 136, 139,
156, 163, 164, 172, 174, 180, 187.
Burleigh, vii, viii.
Burn and Nicholson, describing
debatable land, 56, 57, 67.
History of Westmorland
and Cumberland, ix, 105, 145.
extracts from History
of Westmorland and Cumberland,
115, 116, 191, 192.
Burton, Dr. Hill, 11, 12.
Calendar of Border Papers, viii, ix,
30, 33, 37, 39, 44, 45, 46.
extracts from, 46,
47, 51, 53, 54, 72, 99, 115, 118,
119, 125, 139, 161, 164, 172-175,
178, 179-183, 187, 188, 239, 240,
Camden, quotation from Britannia,
Canute, King, 9.
Carey, John, 136.
Sir Robert, 47, 129, 136, 161,
letter to Cecil, 124-
Carham-on-Tweed, battle of, 9.
Carleton, Thomas, letters to Lord
quotation from his Re-
port, 53, 54.
Carlisle, 9, 25, 29, 37, 38, 39, 44, 73,
78, 81, 105, 139.
Andrew de Harcla, Earl of, 203.
breakingof castle, 134-137, 211.
Carlisle Castle, 2, 48.
Gilbert Welton, Bishop of, 203.
Thomas Appleby, Bishop of,
192, 193, 203.
Carlyle, Thomas (his ancestors),
Carmichael, Sir John, 121, 132, 133,
Carr, Sir Robert, Earl of Somerset.
Carre, Sir Robert, 101.
Cecil, Lord, 54, 124-128.
Challoner, Sir Thomas, 62.
Charles Edward, Prince (Prince
Charlton Spur, the, 25.
Charlton, William, of Bellingham,
Chattlehope Spout, 23.
Cheviot, 9, 38.
Hanging Stone on, 37, 43, 47.
Chevy Chase, 2, 38.
Clifford, family of, 202, 203.
Robert de, Lord of West-
morland, 66, 191, 192, 202, 203.
Clyde, the river, 7.
Cockermouth, Lord of. See Lucy,
Cold trod, 93.
Coleridge, Miss Mary, 3.
CoUingwood, Sir Cuthbert, 48.
Commendation, description of, 10.
Constantino, King of the Scots, 8, 1 1.
Corbit Jock, 23, 24.
' Comage,' 26.
Council of the North, 217.
Creightonian Lecture, ix.
Cressingham, 78, 231.
Crosby Ravensworth, 44.
Crozier clan, 48.
Cryssop, 37, 38, 43-44.
Cumberland, 7-12, 39-42, 44, 73.
Cumberland, extent of musters,
George, last Earl of, 203, 227.
Cuthbert, St., 8.
Dacre, family, 207-209.
Ranulph de, 203.
Thomas, Lord, 48, 58 ; ex-
tracts from letters, 58-60, 139,
140, 216, 232, 233.
William, Lord, 55 ;
from letters, 123, 124, 163.
David ii., 16, 234.
' Deadly feud,' origin, 17, 18.
described by Gray, 33, 34.
between Maxwells and
Debatable Land, extent and ac-
count of, 55-65.
division of, 62-65.
Deira, kingdom of, 7.
Danish establishment in, 8.
Dirlton Castle, 238.
Dodd family, 25.
Domesday freeholders, their rights,
Double and Sawfey, vii, 96, 97, 230,
Douglas, Sir Archibald, 142.
Earl of, 204, 205.
family of, 21, 28, 50, 171, 206,
Sir James, 2, 62, 91.
Drurye, Sir William, 126.
Dryffe Sands, battle of, 35.
Dumfries, Provostship of, 49.
Durham, 12, 16.
250 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
Durham, Bishopric of, 44, 238.
Bishop of, 44.
Bishop Bek of, 238.
Bishop Fox of, 214.
letter to Wolsey,
Thomas, Bishop of, 203.
Eadwulf Cutel, 9.
Cross of, 32.
English loss of, 8.
Edward I., Bang of England, 6, 16,
17, 18, 27, 67, 73, 187, 231, 234;
claim to overlordship of Scotland,
11, 13, 14 ; championship of John
Balliol, 14, 15 ; making of March
Laws, 81, 82, 166, 167 ; institution
of Lord Wardens, 190, 191.
Edward n., 17, 18.
Edward in., 16, 234.
Edward iv., 38, 82, 91, 92, 95, 120,
214, 215, 234, 235.
Edward vi., 42, 60, 82, 153, 235, 236.
Edwin the Anglian, 7.
Egfrith of Northumbria, 8.
Elizabeth, Queen of England, 2, 30,
38, 39, 48, 53, 54, 82, 100, 135,
178-183, 188, 237, 239.
Elliot family, the, 21, 25, 39, 50,
115, 155, 182, 221.
English Dialect Dictionary, 240.
Ethelfrith of Northumbria, his
exploits, 7, 8.
Ettrick Stream, 4.
Eure, Lord, 40, 127, 160, 183.
extract from letter to
Sir William, 183.
Eurie, Lord. See Eure.
Ewrie, Sir Ralph (Lord), 199.
Falaise, Treaty of, 13.
Fenwyck, Sandy, 126.
Ferguson, R. S., quotation from
History of Cumberland, 207.
Ferniehirst Castle, 231, 232.
Fletcher, C. R. L., ix, x.
Flodden field, battle of, 64, 213, 235.
Florence of Worcester, 12.
Foix, Gaston de, 27.
Forster, Sir John, 47, 48, 121, 127,
129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 138, 182,
letter to Walsing-
Forth, the Firth of, 7, 10, 37.
Fox, Bishop. See Durham, Bishop
quotations from, 24-26, 31,
'Fyling' by Warden, 93, 109, 113.
Gala Water, 4.
< Gamblespath,' 37, 78, 80.
Gilsland, 53, 54, 239.
Gloucester, Duke of, 214, 215.
Goldsmith, Oliver, his Essays, 28.
Graham family, the, 57, 227, 228,
Gray, Edward, 160.
quotation from his Choro-
Greyme, Richard, 60.
Hadrian, the Emperor, 7.
Hall family, the, 48.
Hallam, his State of Europe during
the Middle Ages, 10.
'Handwarcel,' 'Handwarsil,' 73, 74,
Hector of Harlaw. See Arm-
Helen of Troy, 2.
Henry 11. of England, 12, 13.
Henry in., 66, 207.
Henry vi., 82.
Henry vn., 65, 101, 128, 236.
Henry vm., 48, 65, 82, 92, 178,
183-188, 217, 231, 232, 235,
Heron, Sir John, 48.
Sir William, 128.
Heslop, R. O., Dictionary of Nor-
thumberland Words, 240.
Heton, Alan de, 203.
Hoddam (Howdam), keeping of the
house of, 52.
Hodgkin, Dr., 186.
Creightonian Lecture, ix.
Holy Island and the Farnes, 38.
Home, Lord, 136.
- family of, 212, 213.
quotation from the Iliad, 2,
Horsley, John, 188.
Hot trod, 98-99, 100, 239.
Howard, Lady William of Gilsland
and Naworth, 53, 209.
Lord William of Gilsland
and Naworth, 53, 150, 151,
Humber, the estuary, 7.
Hume Castle, 49.
Hunsdon, Lord, 132, 139, 178.
Huntercombe, Walter de, 190, 191,
Hutton, Sir William, 226.
Irving, Washington, on the Scottish
Border in his Miscellanies, 3-5.
Italy, 8, 9.
James i. of Scotland, 15.
James 11., 206.
James HI. of Scotland, 91, 92.
James iv., 213, 235.
James v. of Scotland, 92, 178, 222-
James vi. and I., 36, 50, 130, 203,
209, 211, 213, 220, 225-229 ; his
survey of 1604, 57.
Jamieson, Scottish Dictionary, 240,
Jedburgh, Provostship of, 49.
Joanna, daughter of Edward m.,
John Faranyeir, i.e. Robert in., 14.
St., of Halnaker, 191.
of Wyncheles, 81.
Johnstone family, the, 21.
the clan of, 211.
Sir James, 35.
Laird of, 34, 35.
Jutes, the, 7.
Katharine, granddaughter of the
Duke of Somerset, 235.
Keepership. See Annandale, Liddes-
dale, Redesdale, Tynedale.
Ker, Andrew, 126.
family, the, 21, 209, 210.
- John, 126.
Sir Robert, 31, 32, 124, 126,
127, 128, 135, 136. See Rox-
burgh, Earl of.
- Sir Thomas, viii, 130, 131,
Kershope. See Cryssop.
Kinmont Will, 2, 39, 134-137, 211.
Kirkcaldy, James of Grange, 236.
Land Serjeant, vii, 53, 54.
duties of, viii.
252 THE LORD WARDENS OF THE MARCHES
Lang, Andrew, History of Scotland,
quotation from, 14, 15.
Langholm, Captain of, 51.
Lapsley, Dr., quotation from County
Palatine of Durham, 217, 218,
Lawes Castle, 40.
Lawson, Sir Wilfrid, 226.
Leatham Farm, 23.
Lee, Sir Richard, 178.
Leges Marchiarum, ix.
extracts from, 60-61, 148-
150, 153, 165, 166, 167, 185, 219,
first statutes, 66-103, 112-
114, 142, 143, 156.
Leigh, Henry, 224.
Leslie, quotation from his History
of Scotland, 19, 20, 233.
Lesly, Norman, 236.
Lewelin, Prince of Wales, 190.
Leyden, quotation from note to
' Ode on Visiting Flodden,' 34.
Liddesdale, 29, 39, 49, 115, 155.
keepership of, 50.
lawlessness of, x ( 49, 50, 122,
163, 164, 172.
- payment of the keeper, 176-177.
Lideley, Prior of, 79-81.
Lochmaben, house of, the keeping
Lochwood, 35, 49.
Lord Wardens of the Marches.
Lothian, 9, 11.
Louis xi. of France, 15.
Lowther, extract from letter to
Lucy, Anthony de, 203.
Thomas, Lord of Cocker-
mouth, 193, 203.
Maitland, Richard, 62.
Malcolm n., King of Scotland, 9.
Malcolm Canmore, 9, 10, 13 ; his
homage to William, 11, 12.
Malcolm iv., 12, 13.
Mangerton, Laird of, 29, 30.
March courts or Marches, 71-78.
forums or battle grounds, 78.
treason, the law of, 138, 139,
code of, 141-144, 146.
penalty of, 147-150.
Marches, the Eastern, Middle, and
Western, their extent, 37.
clans inhabiting. See Calen-
dar of Border Papers.
described by Sir Robert Bowes,
40, 41, 42.
described by Thomas Phillips,
garrison of, 47-51.
laws of, ix, x, xi.
laws and customs of. See
Lord Wardens of. See War-
muster of the East, 47.
of the Middle, 47.
of the West, 46, 47.
Watches, extent of the, of, 165,
orders of the, of, 153-
organisation by Lord
Wharton of the, 156-160.
Margaret, sister of Edward I., 13.
daughter of James I. of Scot-
Mary Queen of Scots, 2, 50, 82,
131, 177, 181, 210, 220, 224, 235,
Maxwell, Lord Robert, 58, 176, 185,
the clan of, 21, 49, 158, 210.
Milburn, 22, 24.
Monnypenny, David, 236.
Morpeth, 139, 140.
Mortimer, Edmund, Earl of March,
Murray, the Regent, 30.
Musgrave, Humprey, 29, 33, 163.
Sir Simon, 54.
Thomas, 54, 203.
Napier, Alexander, 36.
Nectansmere, battle of, 8.
Neilson, Dr., ix, 78, 79.
quotation from, 68.
quotation from Trial by
Combat, 73, 77.
Nevil, Ralph de. See Neville.
Neville family, 204, 205, 206.
Lord, 203, 204.
Ralph de, 203.
Nicholson. See Burn.
Bishop, his Collection of Leges
Marchiarum, ix, 66, 82, 143.
his Collection of Leges
Marchiarum, quotations from,
Norham Castle, 47.
Normans, the, 9.
the Conquest, 9.
Northampton, Treaty of, 16.
Northumberland, 3, 7, 9, 12, 22, 25
38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 48.
Earl of, 2, 30, 153.
Henry de Percy, Earl of, 191
192, 203, 204, 217, 218.
inhabitants of, 27.
Northumbria, 8, 9.
Odysseus, 1, 2.
Otterburn, battle of Wardens, 21
Pembroke, Countess of,her Memoirs
Earl of, 191.
enrith, 14, 29.
ercy, family of, 21, 28.
Henry de. See Northumber-
land, Earl of.
ersians, the education of the
'hillips, Thomas, quotation from,
'icts and Scots, their invasions and
*ilgrim'a Progress, 4.
Pilgrimage of Grace, 218.
Pledge of Wardshiell, 73, 74.
Pledges ' of Warden, 101, 102.
Plump Watches, 160, 161.
Ragman Roll, the, 16.
Raiders' Lines or Paths of the
Raiders, their debt to geographi-
cal influence, 162.
description of, 161-164.
Ratificatio Conventionum Scotiae,
Rede, 20, 37.
Sir William, 179.
Redesdale, 19, 139, 140, 239.
keeper of, 48, 51.
Reed, Percival, 48, 115.
meeting of the Wardens and
fight at, 48, 132, 133, 171.
Rere Cross, the, 9, 10.
Richard Coaur de Lion, 13.
Richard m., 208, 235.
Richmond, Henry FitzRoy, Duke
of, 217, 218.
Ridpath, History of the Border, ix, 79.
Robert 11., 14.
Robert in. See John, son of
Robert 11., or John Faranyeir.
Robson Clan, the, 25, 155.
Rockliffe, fortress of, 48.
Romans, withdrawal from Britain,
254 THE LORD WARDENS OF TKJ MARCHES
Routledge family, the, 102.
Earl of, 209, 211.
Russell, Lord Francis, 37, 130, 131,
Ruthven, Raid of, 236.
Ruthwell, Lord, 222.
Rymer, Foedera, ix.
quotations from Foedera, 63,
64, 65, 88, 90, 215, 235, 237.
Sadler, Sir Ralph, 30, 188.
Safe-conduct, letters of, 87, 88, 91.
Sawfey. See Double and Sawfey.
Saxons, the, 7.
Scot family, the, 21, 171.
Henry, 73, 81.
Captain Walter, of Satchel,
quotations from, 27.
Sir William, of Branxholme,
Scott, the house of Buccleugh, 211,
Scott, Sir Walter, 1-5, 38, 136, 150,
his Border Min-
17, 18, 32.
Border Minstrelsy, 35, 36, 99.
Border Antiquities, 219, 243.
The Lay of the Last Minstrel, 170.
Scrope, Lord, x, 15, 29, 39, 48-50,
134, 135, 174, 180, 181, 211, 228.
Henry de, 203.
Selby, Sir John, 127, 164, 179.
Sir William, 129, 136.
William, senior, 161.
Severus, the Emperor, 7.
Shrewsbury, Earl of, 215.
Sichel, Miss, 3.
Sidney, Sir Fhilip, 2.
quotation from his
Apologie for Poetrie, 28 ; his
Skiddaw, i 9, 39, 169.
Sleuth-ho' Jids, 'Slew' or ' Slough'
Smith, A. L., x.
Solway, the, 7, 13, 17, 37.
Somerset, Duke of, 235, 236.
Earl of, 209.
Spain, King and Queen of, 237.
Speed, his map of the Marches, 42.
' Speiring ' and ' Searching ' of War-
dens, 94, 113.
Stafford, Richard de, 203.
Standard, battle of the, 12.
Starkhed, 31-32, 128.
Stevenson, R. L., 1.
Stow, quotation from his Annales,
Suffolk, John, Duke of, 235.
Surrey, Earl of, 214, 215.
Sussex, Earl of, beacon orders to
the Wardens, 169, 170.
Tennyson, Lord, Idylls of the King,
Thornton, Abraham, 17.
' Threap Lands,' 64.
Trespass of cattle, 95.
Trial by Combat, 73, 74, 77-81.
Truce, the, 83, 90.
days of, or March Days, 82, 93,
description of, 105-112.
Troy, siege of, 2.
Tweed, the river, 4, 9, 13, 37.
Tweed, vale of, 20, 38.
Tweedie, the family of, 36.
Tyne, the river, 7, 8.
Tynedale, 14, 19, 239.
keeper of, 48, 51.
Tyndale, people of, 174.
Veitch family, the, 36.
'Vower publique.' See 'Avower,'
109, 118, 120.
Walsingham, Lord, viii, 39, 131, 132.
Walter 1'Espec, 12.
Warden Courts, 77, 84.
proceedings of, 145-180.
Wardens of the Marches, the Lords, 6.
breaking of the laws, 130-137.
dealing with March treason,
distribution of, 45-51.
duties, 97-103, 188.
etiquette at meetings of, 123-
extension of power of, 93, 94.
faults of procedure, 116-122.
fyling by, 93, 109, 113, 114.
jurisdiction of, 111-116, 217-
office of Lord General, 214.
origin of office, 186-187.
payment of, 176-185.
powers of administration of,
89, 92, 93, 138, 139.
powers of mustering, 42-44.
procedure at days of truce,
retinue and officers of, 51.
rights in debatable land, 59, 60.
speiring and searching of, 94,
Wardens, tables of Lords of English
Marches, 195, 197, 199, 201.
tables of Lords of Scottish
Marches, 194, 196, 198, 200.
Wardshiell, Manus de, ix.
Pledge of, 73, 74.
See Trial by Combat.
Warenne, John, Earl of, 191.
Welton, Gilbert, 203. See Carlisle,
Westminster Abbey, 18.
Westmoreland, 9, 12, 39, 40, 41, 42,
Earl of, 2, 183, 206.
extent of muster for, 45.
Wharton, Lord, 62, 105, 183, 199.
organisation of March
Widdrington, Sir John, 184.
William the Conqueror, 26, 42.
relations with Scotland,
10, 11, 12, 13.
William the Lion, 13.
William Bufus, 12.
Wilson, Rev. H. A., x, 72.
Winchester, Bishop of. See Dur-
ham, Bishop of.
Windy Gyle, 20, 37.
day of truce at, 130-132,
Wolsey, Cardinal, letters from Lord
Dacre, 140, 163.
letter from the Bishop of
Durham, 216, 217.
Woodryngton, Roger, 126.
York, 9, 32.
Henry, Duke of, 215.
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